Donna Jean (Kubsch) Shelley, 79, passed away on Friday, March 26, 2021, at her home surrounded by her husband and family. She was born September 30, 1941 in Manitowoc, WI to Erwin and Virginia Kubsch. Her father worked for Peter Kiewit which took the family to Washington, California, Massachusetts and then Casper, Wyoming where she graduated high school. In Casper, she met the love of her life in 1957, Robert “Bob” Shelley whom she married on November 26, 1959.
Bob and Donna lived in Casper until 1965, before moving to Sheridan where Bob began his lifelong career in law enforcement and she had her many careers, with her foremost as a mother to Ron, Annette, Todd, Tom, and Patrick.
While raising her children, she worked from home as a pastry chef creating custom cakes for all occasions, but was mostly known for her intricate wedding cakes. She baked for Tom Kinnison at the Trails End making her famous cinnamon rolls and pies. She also took care of many other children. She loved spending time in the Big Horn Mountains and at Yellowstone National Park.
After her children moved on, she started a new chapter in life hosting exchange students from all over the world. Over 34 years, Donna and Bob hosted 18 exchange students and placed over 150 students with other host families. She bartended at the XL restaurant, had a gourmet catering business, managed the Sheridan Inn, and was a Master Gardener.
She was devoted to community service. She delivered meals for the Senior Center for 40 years. She volunteered at the Sheridan Health Center, Suicide Prevention Coalition and Homeless Shelter. She was a Eucharistic Minister delivering communion to the home-bound for the Holy Name Catholic Church. She volunteered for many church functions, and took care of multiple individuals providing rides, comfort, and services.
Her insatiable curiosity about the world led her to go on countless adventures. Her travels took her to four continents, exploring places like Serbia, Croatia, New Zealand, Tasmania, Peru, Galapagos Island, Rome and many more. Often her travel companions were her sons Patrick and Ron and his wife Shelly. Travels within the US to visit her grandchildren Lyric, Heartlyn, Nova and Jaden were her favorite. Other hobbies and talents included her gardening, stained glass art, watercolor art, sewing, quilting, and reading.
Donna is preceded in death by her parents Erwin and Virginia Kubsch. She is survived by husband Bob and sons Ron (Shelly), Todd (Sandra, grandchildren Branden and Sydni Krosschel), Thomas (Krista, and grandchildren Lyric, Heartlyn, Nova and Jaden), and Patrick and daughter Annette Rinaldo (Brian, grandchildren Brice & Eliza Beisher). She is also survived by her sisters and brothers-in-law, nieces, and nephews: Judy Pester husband Tom (Jennifer & Jeff); Mary Patton husband Tom (Mike & Tom); Patti Magni (Ricki); Kathy Kubsch; Jim Shelley wife Jean (Mike and Jeff); and Gary Shelley wife Fran (Alan, Stephen, and Paula).
Funeral Services will be held at the Holy Name Catholic Church on April 9, 2021. Rosary at 10:00 a.m., funeral at 10:30 a.m., graveside burial at Sheridan Municipal Cemetery, and reception to follow at Kane Funeral Home.
Donations in lieu of flowers can be sent to the Dog & Cat Shelter, 84 E Ridge Road, or Sheridan Memorial Hospital Foundation for the Hospice Program, PO Box 391, Sheridan, WY 82801.
Online condolences may be written at www.kanefuneral.com
Kane Funeral Home has been entrusted with local arrangements.
I was not aware of this sad news. Donna was a very talented cook. She managed the Sheridan Inn in the 80’s when we had moved back to Sheridan. She hired me, reluctantly I think, but it turned out to be a great experience.