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Ardell W. Donahue, age 89, of Fedora, died Friday, January 26, 2018, at the Good Samaritan Society in Howard. A Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 AM, Tuesday, January 30, 2018, at St. Agatha Catholic Church in Howard. Burial will follow at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Howard. Visitation will be 5-7 PM, Monday at St. Agatha Catholic Church with a prayer service and rosary to be held at 7 PM.
Ardell William Donahue was born on February 24, 1928, to Benjamin and Margaret (Gaspard) Donahue at their home near Fedora, South Dakota. Ardell was baptized and confirmed at St. Nickolas Church in Roswell, South Dakota. He started going to school at the age of five at the Fedora School with his sister who was a teacher. On July 6, 1940, seven of the family members were in a car accident. Ardell’s father and brother Bernard were killed. Ardell was hospitalized for a long time with a head injury.
Ardell graduated from Fedora High School in 1945. After graduation he stayed on the family farm and worked with his mother. He met Beverley Bauer at a dance in the Fedora Hall and they often attended activities at Ruskin Park. Ardell and Beverly were married on November 30, 1957, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Carthage, SD. Their wedding was the last wedding in the old church. To this union, nine children were born. Ardell enjoyed watching his children and grandchildren participate in football, basketball, wrestling, volleyball and other events. He was so proud of his grandchildren and all of their accomplishments. The summers were busy with 4-H events. For many years the family camped at the South Dakota State Fair, showing various animals including: calves, horses, sheep, pigs, rabbits, pigeons, and gardening.
Ardell farmed for most of his life and was a salesman for Pride Seed Corn for many years. After retiring, he continued to help his sons on the family farm. He was proud to have his sons and grandkids be the fourth and fifth generation on the land his grandfather Anton Gaspard homesteaded in 1882. Ardell and Bev received a Quasquicentennial Award in 2010 at the SD State Fair, which by the SD Dept. of Agriculture recognized family farms that were homesteaded over 125 years ago. Ardell was always very proud to say, “I sleep in the same bedroom I was born in.” He was active as a township board member and held various offices for the Fedora Alumni Association. Ardell was also a member of the Knights of Columbus for many years.
He is survived by his wife Bev of 60 years, of Fedora; seven sons, Pat (Kristi) of Winner, SD, Doug (Judy) of Rapid City, SD, Bryan (Dawn) of Fedora, Joel of Mitchell, Bernard (Brenda) of Fedora, Mike (Julie) of Clear Lake, SD, Kerry (Cindy) of Dimock, SD; two daughters, Susan (Jim) Nelson of League City, TX, and Shelly Moga of Spring, TX; 15 grandsons and 16 granddaughters; 13 great-grandchildren; one sister Darlene; one brother-in-law Don Scott; and many nieces and nephews.
Preceding him in death are his parents; two brothers, Wilmer and Bernard; two sisters, LaVera Casey and MaDonna Scott; one sister-in-law Betty; and two brothers-in-law, Jerry Casey and Daryl Weable.