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Donna Lee Breitkreutz passed away on July 25, 2023, surrounded by her loved ones and family. Donna was born in 1937 in Lewiston, Idaho to Donald and Alice Stevenson Case.
Donna grew up as part of a large, loving extended family, playing in the orchard fields around Lewiston and camping, fishing, and hunting in northern Idaho. Donna remembered the approximately mile-long piggyback rides by her older sister Elsie to swim on the shores of the Clearwater and Snake rivers. She later recalled a wild, terrifying drive in her older brother Dale’s Chevy down the Lewiston Hill, and little did she know that the throttle was stuck! She enjoyed a wonderful childhood and made lifelong friends. Donna also met her future husband, Bob Breitkreutz, in Lewiston when he was visiting from Texas.
After graduating from high school, Donna attended Texas Lutheran College in Sequin, majoring in journalism and English. After a fairly complicated courtship because of the distance between Idaho and Texas, Donna and Bob were married in 1957. Bob, along with Donna and others, started Faith Lutheran Church in Wichita Falls, Texas, which is still active today. Later, after leaving the ministry, Bob and Donna moved to Myrtle Point where he accepted a teaching position.
During her working life, Donna worked at the Myrtle Point Herald, where she did various duties, but by far her favorite was writing “Under My Umbrella”. She also was a feature writer for the Mckay’s Market People Pleaser magazine. She was well-known for her humorous take on daily life with four kids, a scientifically-minded husband, and an array of unusual pets, such as a screech owl and 11 foot pythons. Her family treasures these articles and enjoy reading, reminiscing, and laughing at the memories portrayed in them. Donna, above all, brought laughter and joy to those around her.
Donna was also a Community Activities Director for the city of Myrtle Point. Along with others, she was instrumental in establishing the soccer program in Myrtle Point and elsewhere, which is still ongoing. She facilitated drama, art, music, and a huge variety of classes through Southwestern Community College that greatly impacted the Myrtle Point community. A particular favorite of hers was organizing trips to the tide pools in collaboration with Bob. Donna was voted the 1987 Myrtle Point Citizen of the Year and the 1991 Woman of Achievement by the Myrtle Point Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma Society. Donna was applauded for “not just doing her job, but always doing it 200 per cent.” At the time of her retirement in 2002, she was the school secretary at Bridge School.
Donna had a talent for bringing people together, often times to accomplish something but also just to have a fun time. She was kind and had a great sense of humor, and truly wanted the best for others. Her passions included writing, music, family, friends, and faith. Donna provided a loving home base for her entire family and her cherished friends.
Donna was a recent member of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church; prior to that, she was a member of St James Lutheran Church in Myrtle Point. She strengthened her faith daily through morning Bible study with Bob, along with a hot cup of coffee! They applied the verse from 1st Thessalonians 5:11 “encourage one another and build each other up” to each other in addition to others. They also extended unconditional love to those around them.
Donna is survived by her children, Dr. Patti Gates of Coos Bay, OR, Mark Breitkreutz of Coquille, OR, David Breitkreutz and his wife, Darlene of Ketchikan, AK and Alicen Houghton and her husband, Gary of Eugene, OR; her grandchildren, all of Oregon, include Layne Breitkreutz of Hillsboro, Becca Gates of Coos Bay, Tristan Gates and fiancé, Andrea Malone of Coos Bay, Logan Gates and his wife, Bridget of North Bend, McKenzie Houghton of Monmouth, Zachary and Brittney Breitkreutz of Coquille, Keira Breitkreutz of Monmouth, Joshua Houghton of Eugene; great grandchildren, Dresden Sanchez of Coos Bay and Liam and Hudson Gates of North Bend.
She was preceded in death by her granddaughter, Emily Zoe Houghton; her son-in-law, Gordon Gates; and her beloved husband of 64 years, Robert “Bob” Breitkreutz.
Services will be held at noon, Friday, September 29, 2023 at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 1290 Thompson Road in Coos Bay and a graveside service at 2:00 pm at Sunset Memorial Park, 63060 Millington Frontage Road in Coos Bay. Following the graveside service, there will be a gathering at daughter, Patti’s home in Coos Bay.
Arrangements are under the care of Coos Bay Chapel, 541-267-3131. Family and friends are invited to sign the online guestbook at www.coosbayareafunerals.com