Donna Jean Baird Wilson, 72, Salt Lake City, died Friday, June 21 from kidney failure and cardiovascular disease.
She was born January 3, 1947, in Portland, Oregon to Donald A. Baird and Norma B. Huth. She grew up in Sioux City, Iowa. She married the father of her children, Edwin L. Milligan in 1961 and raised her daughters in Carroll, Nebraska and later Sheridan, Wyoming.
Donna had a long and accomplished career in the hospitality and affordable housing management industries. Her efforts to go back to seek her GED and Associates degree in Hospitality Management from the Bryman School and Professional Certifications from the Educational Institute of the American Hotel & Motel Association in mid-life inspired her daughters, grandchildren and many others. She operated hotels in Wyoming and Utah. She finished her career at Utah Non Profit Housing Corporation where she was both a manager and later of member of the board of directors.
Her life was exemplified by kindness, compassion, generosity, service and hard work. Her wisdom came from a life well lived. She was preceded in death by her parents and brother Michael J. Baird.
She is survived by her sister Gayle Baird Smelser (Larry Nordholm) of Bandon, Oregon; her ex-husband and good friend Jim Wilson, and her daughters Marci Milligan (Ann Williams) of Salt Lake City, Utah; Charmi Milligan (Chuck Brence) of LaGrande, Oregon; Michele Milligan (Steve Jorgensen) of Winside, Nebraska; Christie Milligan (Marv Rager) of Wakefield, Nebraska and Cheri Milligan (Scott Mohlfeld) of Liberal, Missouri; 16 grandchildren, 20 great grandchildren and 1 great great grandchild; numerous nephews and nieces from across the country and family by choice Mary Jane Fine of Salt Lake City, Utah; Maryann Streeper of Salt Lake City, Utah; and Judy Sackett of Sheridan, Wyoming.
Prior to her passing, Donna left a small note to family and friends, “What do you say to so many wonderful giving and loving people? I will try to express myself to you all – First and foremost thank you for being in my life and bringing me so much LOVE and JOY. Words cannot always express the feelings within.”
“Celebrations of Life” will be held in two locations for family and friends: Thursday, June 27th from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. at Sharon Gardens 3354 South Sue Street, Salt Lake City, Utah and Sunday, June 30th from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. at 1305 Leopard Street, Sheridan, Wyoming. Food and Refreshments will be served.
Online condolences may be left at www.aspenfh.com