Donna's Story

Text size

Funeral services for Donna Mae Ulrich Musgrave will be held on Thursday, April 27th, 2017 at 11:00 AM at St. Basil's Episcopal Church with Reverend Debora Jennings officiating. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, April 26th, 2017, at Reed-Culver Chapel from 2:00 PM until 8:00 PM. Interment will be held at Tahlequah City Cemetery. Online condolences for her family may be left at www.reedculver.com.

Donna was born on May 27th, 1925, in La Crosse, WI, the daughter of Clyde and Marguerite (Hovland) Ulrich. She grew up with one brother, Roger, and three sisters, June, Judith, and Barbara. She attended and graduated from Logan High School in La Crosse and began studies through the Army Nurse Corps at Ancker Hospital Nursing School in St.Paul, MN, where she received the degree of Registered Nurse in 1947.
Donna was stationed on a large sugar plantation near Hilo on the "Big Island" of Hawaii. It was thanks to this first big adventure that Donna spent much of the rest of her life planning her next foreign and domestic destinations. She returned to Oklahoma to exit her service, and met James Boyd Musgrave as he was transitioning out of the Army Air Corps. They were married on November 11th, 1949, at the First Methodist Church of Tahlequah. This union was blessed with one son and one daughter and lasted until Boyd passed in 1975.
Shortly after marriage, Donna worked as office nurse for Drs. Morgan, Womack, and McIntosh in Tahlequah. In 1961, Donna became the Director of Nursing at Tahlequah City Hospital, where she served until her retirement in 1991. She was a dedicated, considerate, capable and trustworthy director, striving for the best in health care for the clients she served. Following her retirement as Director of Nursing, Donna served several more years at TCH as Volunteer Service Coordinator.
Donna was one of the founding members of St. Basil's Episcopal Church. Over the years, she served on the church vestry, was active in the ECW (Episcopal Church Women), and was named National Chair of the United Thank Offering for the Episcopal Church. She traveled to Europe, Great Britain, and Hong Kong, visiting parishes large and small.
Donna was also active in the Tahlequah chapter of the Soroptimists International, where she served as President in 1980-81 and she also served on the board of the Cookson Hills Community Action Agency from 1984 through 1987. Donna was honored in 1985 as Tahlequah's Outstanding Citizen by the Chamber of Commerce, in 1986 and 1991 she received certificates proclaiming "Donna Musgrave Day" signed by the current Mayors of Tahlequah; and she was recognized as "Nurse of the Day" by the 32nd Oklahoma State Legislature.
At home, she enjoyed tending her vegetable gardens and flowers. Despite her demanding professional life, Donna enjoyed cooking, treating her family to her amazing ground cranberry orange dressing over the holidays and her own special goulash and Bourbon bundt cakes throughout the year. She cherished her time with her granddaughter Rachel, daughter of Monty; and the two of them were especially close during Rachel's childhood. "Grandmadonna" simply adored being a grandmother.
One thing was missing however, from Donna's "bucket list:" she had her RN. But not a Bachelor's degree. So she went back to college, and in 1989, at the age of 64, she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in German from Northeastern. She's heard the language spoken by her grandparents, she tried her best to maintain and read conversational German, and at last, she had a degree in the language she'd always loved.
Lastly, Donna was an animal lover. Even today, a small herd of deer enjoys the private woods behind her home, checking daily for scraps of bread, her empty bird feeders are still graced by cardinals, blue jays, downy woodpeckers, and tufted titmice, and her beloved box turtles continue to amble through the backyard looking for bits of melon. Donna was never without canine companionship throughout her adult life, beginning with a succession of hunting dogs, a Basset hound, and a toy poodle. But she was especially fond of Irish water spaniels (one of her earliest breeds) and was delighted when daughter Lynn began breeding them in the 1980's; consequently, Donna was never without a curly companion for the rest of her life.

Donna went to her eternal rest on April 21st, 2017, in Tahlequah, OK. She was one month shy of her 92nd birthday. Her generosity of spirit, her ready laugh, her compassion, and commitment will be sorely missed. Donna is preceded in death by her parents, her husband James Boyd, her brother Roger, and sister June's husband Bob. Those left to cherish her memory include her two children, Monty Ray Musgrave of Tahlequah, OK and Lynn Ellen Musgrave and husband Robert G. Berglund of Minneapolis, MN, along with granddaughter Rachel Ellen Musgrave of Stillwater, OK. She leaves three sisters: Barbara Diebold and husband Dan of Burnsville, MN , Judith Onsrud and husband Paul of La Crosse, WI, and June Berglund of Richfield, MN. She has one sister-in-law, Lois Ulrich of Rushford, MN. Donna also leaves a very special cousin, Donald R. McHone, of Tulsa, OK, as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of friends and loved ones from all walks of life she encountered along the way.
Those wishing to express their sympathy are asked to consider the United Thank Offering, http://www.episcopalchurch.org/page/united-thank-offering , the Cherokee County Humane Society, www.HumaneCherokeeCounty.org/ or the Oklahoma Federation of Democratic Women http://www.ofdw.org.
Published on April 25, 2017
Send flowers
in memory of Donna
See more

Obituary published in