There’s less laughter and love in this world as the family of Donna Mae Calder (Lowey) announce her unexpected passing. Donna crossed over suddenly on Sunday, August 13, 2023, while at home with her husband.

Donna was born April 29, 1962, to Don and Ethel Lowey. She grew up with her older brother Dane and younger sister Dori. This young family enjoyed camping on Lake of the Woods and created a family tradition for generations to come. Donna’s friends would tell you that she had a wonderful youth full of fun, friendships, partying and living life.

As many know, Donna began adulthood a little sooner than most with the introduction of a baby at the age of 18. Suddenly, Donna was a young mother and life was forever changed. She walked away from high school and became a super teen mom to two little ones (and then a third). Donna was called to the nursing world as she struggled through the trials of single parenting. Donna fought every day to make life amazing for her children and the people around her. She was a wonderful nurse. Always a giver, never a taker, Donna sacrificed so much of herself for her children and family. After many years of challenge, Donna reunited with her high school sweetie, Todd Calder. And then there were 8. Donna was finally home. She had fallen deeply in love and was forever surrounded by a wonderful and caring man as well as 6 little kids, all vying for mommy’s attention. Light truly shone in Donna’s life over these last 25 years. She was such an incredible mother, and she handled the tribulations of a blended family and 6 kids with joy, love and lots of yelling! Six children became so close as siblings because of Donna and Todd and she revelled in every moment.

Donna had many personal battles over the years. Dealing with these illnesses should have taken its toll on her, but never one to miss a day of life, Donna always smiled through the worst and persevered through the hardest. She was always a beacon of happiness to guide her children. She was always a person to rely on when you needed to talk. No matter how she was feeling, Donna always made time to listen to others’ problems, always setting aside her own pain to soothe pain of family and friends.
Donna’s true beauty was revealed in every room and in every place she went. She lit up a space with her larger-than-life happiness and an infectious laugh that would stand out above any crowd. If mom was there, everyone knew (if they weren’t deaf). When all the grandchildren began to show up, Donna became super grandma. She was so in love with having grandbabies. She did everything she could with Todd by her side to love and care for and enjoy all their grandchildren.

Donna always loved camping and being on the water. A day of cruising the lake with Dane, Harlene, Dori, Gerry, Char and many other friends and family was always a great day for her. Donna and Todd bought a dream camper a few years ago and Donna got her final wish in life; which was to carry on the family tradition of camping on Lake of the Woods. She got a few amazing summers surrounded by her children and grandchildren. Everyone will so dearly miss the feeling of pulling into Ma and Pa’s camping spot. The grandkids loved it more than mom could know! Donna loved to go fishing, travel to the occasional Casino, ride the purple Harley with her hubby; but mostly she LOVED being surrounded by her family. If it was family chaos and noise, mom was in heaven!
Donna is survived by her amazing husband, Michael Todd Calder. Todd became the love of her life and he really did complete her and gave her so much to be happy for. Todd loved mom beyond her struggles and illness, beyond her trials and strife. He was by her side through every single trauma, every tear, every smile, every cry of joy. She also has six wonderful children: Jason (Claire), Jennifer (Peter), Ryan (Chelsea), Shanna (Jay), Nathan (Anja) and Kyle (Natalia). Donna leaves behind her mother, Ethel Lowey (Truelove) and was pre-deceased by her father Don Lowey. She is also survived by her mother and father-in-law Lonnie and Laura Calder (Helseth). Donna’s siblings Dane (Harlene), Dori (Gerry), and Terril (sister-in-law) will carry her love and memory in their hearts, they were always very close and did so much family life together. Donna has a wonderful group of girlfriends in Charmaine Saunders (Mcray), Gerry-Lynn Cousineau (Delarond), Shelly Douglas (Hawley), Laurie Lundale, Susan Sekulich-Tighe and so many more. Donna was very close with so many cousins, uncles, and aunts. Jess, Janel, Dayna, Rebecca, Matthew, Valdimar, and their spouses and children are to name only a few. But there was a special place in Donna’s heart for her grandbabies. Her life was so fulfilled when she had her grandbabies around. Donna will be so missed by Logan (21), Kadynce (19), Evan (17), Junior (15), Whalen (13), William (13), Jaycie (13), Dylan (13), Emery (10), Jillian (9), Ripley (7), Stella and Owen (6), Murphy (5), Sawyer (3), and Brinlee (1).
In lieu of gifts or flowers, a donation can be made to the La Verendrye Hospital Auxilliary or the Fort Frances Community Chest. A small family potluck celebration of life will be held on Sunday, August 27, 2023.
“Grief is what love becomes when the person the love was intended for can no longer receive it. Grief is love with no vessel for which to occupy. Grief is love in its other form.” – Jason Sobkowicz
Arrangements entrusted to Northridge Funeral Home Ltd., Emo, Ontario.