Sunday, February 17, 2013

Donna Marie Calkins Huck

Donna Marie Calkins Huck passed away on Sunday, February 17, 2013, in her home in the comforting love of her three children.

Donna was born on September 13, 1936, to Harriet Conti Calkins and Howard Calkins.  She was raised in Racine surrounded by the love of her mother, grandparents and many adoring aunts and uncles. Donna attended St. Patrick Grade School and was a 1954 graduate of St. Catherine’s High School. After high school, she worked at S.C. Johnson & Son, where she led company tours of the now-historic buildings, and Hamilton Beach. She was joined in marriage to her high school sweetheart, Kenneth L. Huck, on April 27, 1957. Donna spent her entire life in Racine, except for a short move to Janesville in 1962-1963.

Donna proudly raised and cared for her children, Nicholas John, Anthony Joseph and Gina Marie.  She was the consummate mother and the Martha Stewart of her time – creating Halloween costumes; sewing matching outfits for Gina, herself and, of course, Gina’s dolls; baking unique theme cakes for the kids’ birthdays; and making dozens of beautifully decorated cookies every Christmas. She volunteered many hours at Jerstad-Agerholm Elementary School – in the office, with the Parent Teacher Association, and as a room mother for all three kids. Donna was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Parish for 43 years, where she taught CCD for many years.

In 1969, Donna supported her husband’s successful campaign for Mayor of Racine and ultimately his re-election campaign in 1971. She was affectionately known as the First Lady of Racine for years after Ken’s service ended in 1973. Donna supported Ken throughout his years of community service by actively attending events with him, while also keeping the home front running smoothly. With Ken, she also helped organize a number of fundraising events to benefit St. Catherine’s High School in the 1970s. A dedicated wife and mother, Donna did not miss a single activity that the kids and Ken participated in.

Following Ken’s passing in 1982, Donna re-entered the workforce and enjoyed employment at Drs. Rudan and Lenz dental office, The Columns hair salon, and J.I. Case Corporation, retiring in 1999.

Donna was never bored! She loved to sew, knit, crochet and cross stitch – making many keepsakes, including beautiful Christmas stockings for all of her grandchildren. She took great pleasure in tracing her family’s genealogy, line dancing twice a week, playing Mah-Jongg with her lady friends every Monday, and advancing her Sudoku puzzle-solving skills. Donna was a core member of St. Catherine’s High School Class of ’54 Reunion Committee for every reunion the class had – offering her time, attention to detail, organizational skills, and sense of humor. As a member of Vittoria Colonna, she happily served food at the Roma Lodge Italian Festival every summer.

Donna loved to travel, enjoying trips to her beloved England, Italy, Scotland and France, as well as many memorable trips to see her children and grandchildren in New York, Illinois, California, Minnesota, New Jersey, Indiana, Tennessee, Connecticut and Nantucket. Closer to home, she loved Chicago … it was her kind of town! Donna spent many hours with her dear friend, Don, exploring restaurants, bookstores and Windy City neighborhoods every chance they got. They also had great fun tracking how many state license plates they could spot in a given year – often checking off plates from all 50 states – a tradition picked up by her children and grandchildren. She was also a fan of Downtown Racine, always ready to attend First Fridays and Party on the Pavement. Donna was well known for her love of poppies and poinsettias, as well as the Grandma Donna “goodbye dance” affectionately performed for her grandchildren at the end of each visit.

Donna was preceded in death by her husband, Kenneth; mother, Harriet; dear aunts and uncles, Josephine and Frank Cetrano, Helen and Earl Soli, Mary and Sam LaMartina, and Theresa and Paul Jacoby; mother- and father-in-law, Dorothy and Albert Huck; best friend, Donald Biesack; and close friends, Roe and Charlie Falkner.

Donna is survived by her three children, Nicholas and Dennis Caperton-Huck of Great Neck, NY, Anthony and Terrina Huck of Weston, CT, and Gina and John Siegert of Racine; eleven adored grandchildren – Benjamin, Jacob, Natalie, Cassie, Maxwell, Patrick, Frances, William (godson), Gemma, Becan, and Daman; two great-grandchildren – Kaylee and Ahnica; sister, Carol and Jerry Draeger; brothers- and sisters-in-law, Ruth Morey, David and Rose Anne Huck, Ed and Elaine Huck, Gary and Tavia Huck, and Rose and Randall Brant; nieces and nephews; special cousins, Barbara Roberts and Barb Olson; long-time friends, Jim and Joey Monty (goddaughter) and their daughter, Jan (goddaughter); and many, many good friends.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, February 20, 2013, at 6:30 p.m., with visitation from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Parish, 1533 Erie St., with Rev. Steve Varghese officiating.  Vittoria Colonna Prayer Service at 6 p.m. Private entombment will be held at Calvary Garden Crypts.  Memorials have been suggested to the Donna M. and Kenneth L. Huck Fund/Racine Community Foundation, St. Catherine’s High School, or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The family would like to thank the following for their support over the past months: Dr. Wade Mueller, Dr. Candice Johnstone, and the nurses at Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital, Floor 5NW; the Wheaton Franciscan Radiation Oncology team; Home Instead Senior Care; and the Wheaton Franciscan Home Health & Hospice team.

803 Main St., Racine   (262) 634-7888

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