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Donna J. Hess

Feb 02, 1943 - Jun 16, 2019


Donna J. Hess, 76, Brookings, South Dakota, passed away on June 16, 2019, at Edgewood Vista with her family by her side.
Donna was born February 2, 1943 in Sheboygan WI to the late Herbert and Dolores Hess.
She graduated from Sheboygan North High School in 1961 and went on to Marquette University. After graduating from Marquette University, Donna entered the Peace Corp and served for 3 years in the Philippines and Hawaii. It was during that time that she discovered her love of teaching. When she returned to the U.S, she went on to the State University of New York at Binghamton and was able to study abroad in Italy completing her Master’s degree. While working to earn her PhD, Donna completed her fieldwork and taught on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. After obtaining her PhD from Michigan State University, Donna accepted a position at South Dakota State University.
During her time at SDSU, Donna earned several awards for teaching, was given the title of Distinguished Professor, and was appointed the Department Head of the Rural Sociology Dept. She retired in 2009 after 35 years of service.
Donna dedicated her life to teaching and serving others. She also enjoyed gardening, cooking, baking and sharing with others. She was a member of Altrusa International and enjoyed continuing to serve her community throughout her retirement. Donna had a big heart and always remembered special days for those she loved and supported numerous charities that she cared about.
She was preceded in death by her parents, a sister, Paulette Kloppenburg, grandparents, and many aunts and uncles. She is survived by her brother-in-law, Thomas Kloppenburg of Little Chute, WI, nephew, Tim Kloppenburg of Lake Balboa, CA, niece, Laura (Brian) Voldsness, great niece and God daughter, Jessica (Jim) Hurley, and great-great niece, Alice, all of Menasha WI. She is further survived by her aunts, Betty Hess of Illinois, Carol Post and Ruth Post of Sheboygan, WI, Evelyn Post of Cleveland WI and numerous cousins.
The family would like to thank Heather, Stephanie, Anna, and all the staff at Edgewood Vista for the tender loving care they gave to Donna, as well as Compassionate Care Hospice.
To Dianne Kayongo-Male and Sharron Bortnem, Donna appreciated your years of friendship. The family would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Per Donna’s wishes, a memorial service will take place Saturday, July 6, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at Reinbold-Novak Funeral Home, 1535 S. 12th St., Sheboygan, Wisconsin, with visitation from 9:00 a.m. to the time of the service at 11:00 a.m. Fr.Paul Fliss will officiate with burial to follow in the Calvary Cemetery.


Date: Saturday Jul 6, 2019
Time: 9-11 a.m.
Location: Reinbold-Novak Funeral Home [map]

Memorial Service

Date: Saturday Jul 6, 2019
Time: 11 a.m.
Location: Reinbold-Novak Funeral Home [map]



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