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Dona Belle Martell Laas,age 97, went peacefully to her heavenly home Sunday evening March 18, 2018 after a short stay at the Marias Hospital following breaking her hip on the previous Wednesday. Dona was born Fredona Belle Martell on August 27, 1920 in Iron River, Wisconsin, she was the daughter of Henry Martell and Stella Etta Volker Martell.
Dona was the middle child in the family of 5 siblings. She lost her parents within 6 months of each other when she was only 12 years old and stayed at her Uncle George Martell’s home, along with her younger sister Carol, until her senior year of high school when they moved to Chester, Montana to live with their older sister Ruby.
Dona married Charles Laas on December 21, 1939 in Havre, Mt. and they made their home in Chester. Charlie went into the service for WWII and while he was there Dona lived in California and Oklahoma part of the time and while he was overseas she went back to Montana. After he got out of the service they made their home back in the Chester area and began their lives farming northwest of Chester. They lived on the farm until 1988 when they moved into Chester but continued farming. Charlie passed away in 1990, Dona remained at their home in Chester until August 2006, at which time she moved into her daughter, Lynda’s home in Shelby and remained there with Lynda and family until her final hospital stay in March 2018.
Dona loved her Lord Jesus and loved to share that with others, teaching Sunday school and bible school for many years. She was an awesome mother to her two children, Leslie and Lynda, both adopted at birth and grew up knowing they were cherished from the beginning to the end. Dona loved to color and doodle and spent many hours over the past eight years especially doing just that. In her doodles and coloring she left messages and one of the messages she recently wrote in a notebook was found after her passing. It read “Leslie Lynda Precious Jewels from God with all the little jewels that follow them. Love you all!!! Mom, Grandma and Great Grandma” and another note read “I Love You all so very much, you have brought so much joy and fun into my life. Thank you for loving me and making me happy. See you later Mom” ! There were other notes left as well and they all will be forever cherished.
Dona is preceded in death by her husband Charlie, her parents and her siblings; brother Albert and wife Mildred Martell, Sister Ruby and Husband Merwin Ward and sister Carol and husband Bill Delaney. Also by all of her Laas brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law Walt and Lila Laas, Gus and Golda Laas, Billie and Bill Hamel, Edna and Ted Leffler, Mabel and Bill Schultz. Several nieces and nephews also beat her to heaven.
Dona is survived by her son Leslie and Tracy Laas and her daughter Lynda and Dennis Barker. Grand children Chance (Lindsey), Marsha (Brian), Bryan (Mikayla), Jenna (Bill), Janessa (Jensen) and Charley. Great Grandchildren Roodie, Scarlet, Grayson, Quinnlyn and Charlotte. Dona’s brother Forest and his wife Elayne Martell and many nieces and nephews. She also leaves behind her little companion, Buddy!
Dona an ever- giving person choose to be donated to science and her last wishes have been respected by her loved ones. There will be a memorial service April 14, 2018 at 11am at the Chester Assembly of God Church with a luncheon to follow. Donations to a memorial will be determined at a later point in time.