Gwen Louise (Reek) O’Donnell, 61, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho passed away unexpectedly in her sleep at home on Friday, March 28, 2014 of natural causes.
She was born May 15, 1952 to Jean Elizabeth Stearns and Leonard Harvey Reek at the Mirror Lake Hospital in Waupaca, Wisconsin. She was the third of four daughters. She attended grade school at St. Peter’s Lutheran School in Weyauwega, Wisconsin (WI). She started high school at Weyauwega-Fremont High School and received her diploma from Waupaca High School. She worked more than 40 years as a bookkeeper at which she excelled. Her love of antiques and refinishing furniture stemmed from working with Don Radtke Auction Service in Central Wisconsin. Her mother and she formed a strong bond when they both worked at Lakeview Manor in Weyauwega, WI. She married Michael O’Donnell on June 18, 1983 at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Weyauwega and followed him to Marshfield, WI where she worked for Century-21 Real Estate. When Michael got promoted, she moved with him to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho (ID) the place of her dreams in “The Rockies”.
She loved the mountains and John Denver. She was a member of the “John Denver Fan Club” and when John died, she made her collection of video recordings available to her fellow fans. About this time VH1 contacted her to obtain 25 video tapes from her to assist in their project “VH1 Behind the Music: John Denver” show. During this time she met her first sister/friend, Pat “Moose” Feldmeier of Colorado. She worked for Big Country Communications in Coeur d’Alene in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s; later on she worked for Service Master/Merry Maids after the turn of the century. She met her second sister/friend while perusing the antique and gift shops of North Idaho, Helen Grahl of Coeur d’Alene. Shortly thereafter she met her third sister/friend, Sharon Koser of Hayden, ID at a Spokane Walleye Club meeting. She was also close friends with Diane Fisher of Spokane Valley, Washington another Walleye Club member. She had a variety of interests in crafts. She did amazing counted cross-stitch and her work was impeccable. Her most recent interest was in painting techniques to make new pieces appear to be older, distressed and rusty in the shabby chic styles among others. She always enjoyed a good joke or cartoon.
She is survived by her husband Michael of Coeur d’Alene; two daughters, Lisa Gonzalez of Wausau, WI and Jeanie O’Donnell of Post Falls, ID; four grandchildren, Celia Jensen of Wausau, WI; Kevin Jensen of Weyauwega, WI; Justin Jensen of Wausau, WI and Ashlyn Provost of Coeur d’Alene, ID; her father, Len Reek of Weyauwega, WI; her sisters, Carole Nemec (Gary) of Waller, TX; Bonnie Timm (Steve) of Pine River, WI, and Marcia Harris of Milwaukee, WI; many nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, in-laws and out-laws. She loved all of you. She was preceded in death by her mother, Jean Elizabeth Reek; two nephews, Sean Tedesco and Brandon Timm. Also, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, in-laws and out-laws too numerous to mention.
A celebration of Gwen’s Life was held at English Funeral Chapel, 1133 North Fourth Street, Coeur d’Alene, ID at 2 p.m. (Pacific Time) on Saturday, April 5, 2014. Donations are welcome to be made in Gwen O’Donnell’s name to the National Parks Conservation Association in lieu of flowers. You can visit www.npca.org to donate and look for the donations link. There you’ll be able to find the memorial section, notification recipient: Michael O’Donnell, 5572 N Sapling Street, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83815.