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Donna "Red" Cross


September 12, 2019

Donna "Red" Cross, 10/9/42 - 8/29/19

Donna left this world quickly and peacefully on August 29, 2019, at Kalispell Regional Medical Center following a massive stroke. She will be remembered for her "salty," straight-forward personality, her fierce independence, her love of The Prairie and her many kitties!

She was born October 9, 1942, to Millie and Red Renner in Spokane, Washington. A lifelong lover of animals, she bought her first horse when she was 12 years old – and then went home and told her parents! She would go on to raise and train numerous horses throughout her youth and young adulthood.

Raising horses eventually gave way to raising her children. She loved her three children fiercely, in her own unique way. She often bragged of her son Ky's incredible, brilliant mind and her son Smokey's effortless ability to make lifelong friends in an instant; her youngest, Chris, was her best friend and Donna cherished their "Mom Days," with Chris driving her to Missoula for appointments, lunch, and shopping.

Donna lived a simple, quiet life, enjoying her crafts, reading, and spending time with her herd of cats. Never one to sit idle, she was prolific in her knitting, crocheting, sewing and quilting. Throughout craft shows and farmer's markets in western Montana, she was well known for her two most treasured creations - crocheted snowflake ornaments and scrubbies.

She also used her skills to help those less fortunate than herself. She began by knitting hats and mittens for the Sanders County Sherriff's Department to give to children in need that they met on duty. Later, she made dozens of quilts to donate to the Poverello Center, Missoula's homeless shelter. When she learned her daughter Chris was organizing a coat drive at her office, Donna began knitting scarves, ultimately donating several hundred scarves to Missoula area children. She also knitted nearly 1,000 newborn hats for the babies of Community Hospital.

She was preceded in death by her husband Gordon, her sister Sherrel, her parents Millie and Red Renner, granddaughter Rachel and dozens of beloved kitties. She is survived by her brother Mike Renner; sons Ky (Polly) Carry and Smokey Carry; daughter Chris (Bill) Kelly; granddaughters Kyla (Travis) James and Karra (Telten) Comstock; numerous great-grandkids; and her remaining beloved kitties.

A memorial and reception will be held at the Camas Prairie Gym (Highway 382, between Perma and Hot Springs) on Saturday, Sept. 21 at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Camas Prairie Neighbors Fund (220 Webber Lane, Plains MT 59859) or your local humane shelter or library.


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