Donna Kay (Dyke) Audetat


2019/01/obit-IMG_5862-427x800-206x300.jpg“For God so loved the World that He gave His only begotten son for he that believeth in Him shall not perish but shall have everlasting life.” The Lord has called home to Him our beloved Donna Kay (Dyke) Audetat. She succumbed to liver cancer after a very short illness.

In the service to others, Donna’s lifelong calling was nursing. She served for more than 40 years in that profession. Before becoming a licensed practical nurse, she also worked as a nursing assistant. At all times caring and a consummate professional, she received the highest compliments. It was often said that she worked far above her station. Twice she began school to become a registered nurse, but each time the Army moved us.

On the evening of July 31, 1971, Donna Kay married Thomas Audetat by candlelight. (Due to a monsoonal rain storm, the lights were out in the JP’s office.) A couple months before that, barely one day after her high school graduation from Reedsburg, she struck out in her 1960 Chevrolet Bellaire armed with her dad’s borrowed Standard Oil gas card and carrying a Honda 305 Super Hawk in her truck. Just three days later, she arrived in Biggs Army Airfield in El Paso, Texas, and she never looked back.

She followed her husband throughout his 22-year Army career, with residences from coast to coast and Germany. They lived together at nearly 40 addresses in their life, but her favorite was her Colorado Log Systems home in Pagosa Springs, Colo. Prophetically, she insisted that her home in Pagosa would be her last. No one, not even she, could have predicted the dramatic turn of events that ultimately took her from us.

While she was always a confirmed home body, she was also a seasoned world traveler. She visited Africa, Australia and Europe in her many sojourns. Her most recent trips included Ireland and a week with friends near Melbourne, Australia. Her heart was happiest in Europe as she lived for five years in Munich, Germany, while they finished out his military career and visited western part of that continent multiple times.

Donna Kay is survived by her husband, Thomas; their son and daughter, Thomas Jr. (Kristine), of Bellingham, Wash.; and Michelle (Patrick) Huck, of Pagosa Springs; her sister, Carol Smith, of Lake Delton, Wis.; and her brother, Patrick Dyke, of Fredonia, Kan.; three grandsons, Moses and Mathew Huck as well as Ethan Audetat (USN); and one granddaughter, Cheyenne and Patrick Bebereia; two step-granddaughters, Kaylee (Justin) McDonald and Kaitlin (Lonnie) Kuch; as well as two great-granddaughters, Ilona Huck and Peyton Beberia. She also is survived by her stepsister, Sharon (Alan) Bennett, of Lacrosse, Wis.

Donna is proceeded in death by her father, Neil B. Dyke (91); her mother, Evelyn J. (Ziegler) Dyke; and her stepmother, Marian O. (Wilhem) Dyke (100), all formerly of Reedsburg, Wis.; her brother, Bernard N. Dyke (71), of Belvedere, Ill.; and her stepsister, Shirley (Philips) Redwine.

Join Donna’s family and friends in a memorial service at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 20, at the Community United Methodist Church. Pastor Leighton Mekeal will officiate. After the spring thaw, we will celebrate her life and spread Donna’s ashes over her favorite fishing lake. We will announce that date when winter has released its cold, frosty grip on our valley.

In lieu of flowers, plants or priceless treasures, the family has asked that memorials in Donna’s name to Community United Methodist Church. Gifts will be used to purchase benches for the walkway by her home and near a fishing hole she loved.