Donna Jane Pablo

Donna Jane Pablo began her journey to the Ancestors Monday September 27, 2021.

She was born on June 11, 1955 in Tacoma, Washington to Thomas Milford and Vida Jane Pablo. By the time Donna was old enough to attend school, the family had moved back to the Reservation. Donna attended school in Ronan, and during her high school years spent as much time working on cars than on schoolwork. She had a love for cars, especially muscle cars. She was proud of all of them. Especially the 1969 Mustang Mach 1, as well as her 1969 Pontiac LeMans, and a 1966 Ford Fairlane, among many others. Donna was a true child of the 60s and 70s, and along with a love of muscle cars was a love of music. She could be heard listening to Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, or her favorite-Janis Joplin-while cruising around in one of her cars. During these years she formed a special friendship with her cousin “Little Art” Bruggeman, her and “LA” remained close to this day.

Donna attended and graduated from Big Sky barber college in Missoula, but when Tom and Vida divorced, Donna moved home to help raise kids along with Vida and become the de facto man of the house, working in the woods, fixing cars and hunting for the family. A woman of many talents, she did an auto body apprenticeship under her uncle Lloyd and became very good at body work.

Sometime in the early 80’s Donna began a career in law enforcement for the Tribes as a dispatcher, but before long she graduated from the federal law enforcement academy and became one of the very first female officers for CSKT Law & Order. What she may have lacked in size, she more than made up for in grit and toughness.

Later in life she attended SKC and graduated with a degree in human services/counseling. After a few years in that field, ever the rolling stone, she tried her hand and succeeded at many different careers. She came full circle in law enforcement and retired as a security supervisor at KwaTaqNuk resort. In her retirement she remained committed to her mom and “grandkids” until Vida’s passing in 2015, when Donna truly took over the role of “Gramma Donna” to many of her family’s children and grandchildren as well as neighborhood kids from around Pabs.

Donna was a proud member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, and loved working and playing in the mountains; lakes and streams. From post and poling to fishing and hunting-she truly loved it here. Despite so many members of her family being faithful members of the Raider Nation, Donna was a diehard Seahawks fan and a proud 12.

She was preceded in death by her dad Thomas, mom Vida, unborn Baby Cameron, older sister Janice in 1958, sister Alma, brother Mike, nephews BJ and Marshall, uncle Lloyd, uncle Tom (who affectionately gave her the nickname “Hag”).

She is survived by her sister Mildred (aunt Mood), brother Butch, nephew/brother Craig, niece/daughters Amber, Michelle and Nicole, nephew Ryan (Emily), nephew Tylor, “kids” Kaidyn (KK), Raidyn (Pie Pie), Austin (AJ) and Kyleigha (Cry-leigha) and dog Chewie, as well as close cousin Jane, along with numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, “cuzzins” and countless other relatives and friends. Private family viewing was held at Foster funeral home. Donna did not want a wake or services, the family will announce a celebration of life at a later date. I’m sure she would appreciate anyone that partakes to light one at 4:20 in her honor.

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