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A tribute to Donna Sjoblom Smith


November 8, 2019

I was so sorry to hear about the death of my classmate, Donna Sjoblom Smith.

I started grade school in Ekalaka in 1944 in the first grade; we had no kindergarten then. Part of my class was Donna Sjoblom. Donna was cute as could be and was smart, sweet and nice. She was everyone’s favorite. She was my classmate all the way through school and graduated from high school with me in 1956. Donna’s parents lived on a farm a little west of Ekalaka but I think that she went to town school for her whole school experience.

Donna took a lot of kidding about her name, pronounced “Wiblam.” We would sometimes call her Donna “Sa-job-lorn” She was always good natured about that. I thought that it was funny that she married someone named Smith. They were married for many years and had kids, so I guess that they were a good match. I met him and her at our 50th graduation reunion and liked him a lot.

You know how in grade school kids always talked about who was their girlfriend or boyfriend, I always thought of Donna as my girlfriend although she probably didn’t return the sentiment. One time in the 5th grade, my Uncle Hugh was visiting and he and Dad teased me about my girlfriend. Of course, I told them that Donna was my girlfriend. They asked if l had ever kissed her, after all, if she is your girlfriend you should kiss her, they said. So the next day when we were standing in line for something I proceeded to kiss her. That didn’t go over so good and I had to apologize to her for that.

As we proceeded on through school we became very good friends. I studied with her sometimes; she was a very good student and was the salutatorian of the high school class. Despite being very good looking and popular, I don’t think that she had any serious boyfriends during high school. I could be wrong on that. She did marry shortly after school to someone that she didn’t know in school.

I don’t know what their history of where they lived was, but I know that they lived in the East San Francisco Bay area for a while before moving back to northern Wyoming. I talked to her on the phone once when they lived in California.

I really liked all of my classmates and especially those that I graduated with. Donna was a special joy to be around and was a wonderful friend and classmate. One more good memory that I had with her was when, she, Pete Remmens and I went out and drove around drinking cokes and talking after our Baccalaureate service. Simple memory, but enjoyable. Unfortunately there are fewer of my class left as the years go by.


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