Lois Germaine Donahue
CHADRON | Lois Germaine (Rahe) Donahue, 88, died Aug. 9, 2021 with her family at her side at Crest View Care Center. She passed away peacefully after her loving and caring heart finally gave out.
The youngest of 10 children, Lois was born to a German farm family near Worthington, Iowa in the winter of 1932. Growing up she helped clean the separator, brought in the cows to be milked, and fed the chickens. She and her family lived in Sand Springs, Cascade, Delhi, and Monticello, Iowa. Lois loved school and was good in math. She graduated from Sacred Heart High School in Monticello in 1950, where she was Salutatorian of her class and a cheerleader. She had a scholarship to St. Mary's College in Minnesota but was unable to attend.
After high school, she worked as a telephone operator for Northwestern Bell in Monticello, Iowa, and attended Bayless Business College in Dubuque.
She later worked as a bookkeeper for Hawkeye Seed and Armstrong's department store in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where she proudly balanced the cash fund every week. She was then employed at IBM in their branch office administration in Cedar Rapids.
She enjoyed going to the movies that came to town and going to dances at Danceland in Cedar Rapids in the early 1960s. A beautiful young woman, she dressed stylishly in dresses and pumps. Even into her later years, she was never without lipstick, earrings and a pearl necklace.
Lois and Thomas Donahue were married in October 1963 at Immaculate Conception Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Her greatest joy in life was having a daughter, Mary Patricia, in 1965 and taking care of her family. As a new mother, for a time she worked nights at Collins Radio until mental illness prevented her from working any longer. Lois and Tom lived in Cedar Rapids until Tom retired in 1993 from the telephone company. In 1995, they moved to Logan, Utah to be near their only daughter, Mary, and son-in-law, Alan Dymerski.
In 2004, they moved to Chadron when Mary took a position as an art professor at Chadron State College in northwest Nebraska.
Lois lived courageously and gracefully most of her life with schizophrenia, a mental illness that has been, and often still is, misunderstood. In 1960, she was hospitalized at the Iowa State Mental Hospital in Independence, Iowa. Medication for her illness led to the permanent side effect of tardive dyskinesia which causes uncontrollable shaking of the limbs. Despite all of this, Lois was cheerful and happy. She loved people and was always smiling and saying hello to them. She liked parties and to make sure people ate good. She enjoyed grocery shopping, seeing people, and going out to eat. Lois was devoted to saying daily prayers and going to church.
In her last years, Lois experienced dementia problems in addition to her existing mental illness. The family is grateful for the care and kindness from the medical community in Chadron: Chadron Community Clinic and Hospital staff, the Chadron emergency first responders, and especially all of the caring staff at Crest View Care Center as well as Fr. Todd Phillipson and the parishioners at St. Patrick's Church in Chadron.
Lois was preceded in death by her parents, Bernard "Ben" and Catherine (Besler) Rahe; her siblings and their spouses: Violet (Elmer) O'Shea, Nelma (Clarence) Strang, Kenny (Margaret) Rahe, Alvin Rahe, Jean (John) Callahan, LaVern Rahe, Ruth (Roger) Moran (Wisconsin), Carmen (T.J.) Gaynor, Eddie (Bertha) Rahe; and nieces and nephews including Sr. Janet O'Shea, Ginny Ressler, Paul Ehlinger, Jimmy and Tom Moran of Wisconsin, and John Donahue; her father and mother in-law, Leo and Beatrice Donahue, and brother-in-law, Raymond Donahue, all of eastern Iowa.
Lois is survived by her husband, Thomas Donahue, who took care of her for over 50 years; her daughter, Mary Patricia Donahue and son-in-law, Alan Dymerski, Chadron and his father, John Dymerski and wife Alice, Logan, Utah; one sister-in-law, Helen Rahe of Monticello, Iowa; and many nieces and nephews and their spouses including Sue (Dave) Kraus, Mary Ehlinger, Carol Recker, all of Cascade, Iowa; Dave (Marjorie) Strang of Cascade, Iowa, Marjean Tucker of Des Moines, Marianne (Larry) Cigrand, Freeport, IL; Donna Kluesner of Farley, Iowa, Joyce Ehrisman of Monticello, Iowa, and Denny (Deb) Rahe of Fairfax, Iowa; Colleen (Bob) Miller of Wisconsin; Mary Jo Cottrell of Dubuque, Iowa; Janet Callahan of Dubuque, Iowa and Johnny (Carol) Callahan of Bernard, Iowa; Doug (Pam) Rahe, Karen (Edwin) Stephenson, Cindy (Ron) Winn, Deb (Dennis) Zabokrtsky and Pam (Greg) Carroll, all of northeast Iowa.
She is also survived by her husband's family: brother-in-law, James Donahue of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; brother-in-law and wife, Ed Donahue and Beth Johnson of Roseville, CA; sister-in-law and husband, Carol and Rick Allard of Solon, Iowa and nephew, Pat Donahue and wife, Shelley of Iowa City, Iowa.
Funeral Mass was offered on Aug 12, at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Chadron and on Aug. 17, at St. Matthew's Catholic Church in Cedar Rapids. Burial was at Mount Calvary Cemetery in Cedar Rapids.
A memorial has been established for Nursing Aides at Crest View Care Center, Chadron, NE. Donations may be sent to Chamberlin Chapel, P.O. Box 970, Chadron, NE 69337. Memorial donations may also be made to your local National Alliance on Mental Illness www.nami.org
Online condolences may be left at www.chamberlainchapel.com