Cover photo for Donna Rae Sweeney's Obituary
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Donna Rae Sweeney

June 19, 1926 — November 24, 2021

Donna Rae Sweeney

Donna Rae Sweeney, 95,  passed away on November 24, 2021 at the Renaissance Assisted Living facility in Coeur d’Alene Idaho in the company of her daughter Vickie. Donna Rae had fought an eighteen year battle with dementia. Our beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, great-great-grandmother and friend was born June 19, 1926 at the home of her parents, Roy and Sibyl Webster, on 4th Street in Post Falls, Idaho. She attended Post Falls High School.

Donna Rae married her high school sweetheart David Winey in September 1943. David was drafted into the U.S. Army and fought in the South Pacific. He was killed in action on Negros Island in the Philippines. Donna Rae carpooled to Spokane during the war and worked at Brown Industries on Felts Field, cutting sheetmetal, armor plates used in the manufacturing of airplane wing tips and driving forklift. Following the war Donna Rae worked at the Navy Supply depot a large facility in which she rode a bike around delivering mail, telegrams and messages between departments.

She was introduced to Rawleigh Strand Sweeney, the son of Ross Sweeney, one of the individuals she rode to work with. Rawleigh had just returned from the European Front where he served as an air corpsman. They met in December 1945 and married in March 1946. Donna Rae moved from her childhood home into a house owned by Ross and Ruth Sweeney which was a half of a block away, also on 4h Street. Donna Rae settled into being a mother and homemaker while Rawleigh went to work for Kaiser Aluminum at the Trentwood plant. Her son Rickie Eugene was born followed by Vickie Marie. Rawleigh and Donna Rae had a new house built on 6th Street and they moved into it in 1955. They took great pride in that home especially at Christmas time when it was festively decorated, winning numerous awards.

Donna Rae and Rawleigh found their special place when they began building their cabin on Priest Lake. They and a group of special friends, worked to finish the place over a period of several years. Donna Rae enjoyed all that Priest Lake had to offer. Boating, fishing, snowmobiling, huckleberry picking, watching the grandchildren swim and waterski, and entertaining friends became an important part of her life. When Rawleigh passed away in 1990 it was just not the same but she still kept the cabin because she knew how important it was to the family.

Donna Rae became an important member of the Post Falls community.  She was a member of the Rebekah Carnation Lodge #95 and Post Falls Odd Fellow Lodge. In the 1970’s she was awarded the Idaho State Rebekah Declaration of Chivalry, the youngest to ever receive that honor. She was active in the Post Falls Historical Society becoming a president and worked on the committee to create a Post Falls Museum. She was a member of the Royal Neighbors and Colonial Dames. She was actively involved in the Old Church Restoration committee and the creation of the Mrs “E” Kitchen. Donna Rae cooked thousands of hamburgers for the Rebekah Lodge as a lodge fund raiser and scholarship fund for college students. She was a member of the Post Falls Days and Miss Post Falls Committee working on the pagent and float for the Spokane Lilac Parade. She was also involved in the P.E.O. Foundation. She loved being part of the Post Falls Fire Department’s Christmas events, wrapping hundreds of presents as well as donating gifts herself. Donna Rae was recipient of the Women of Distinction Award for achievements and dedication to community service.

Donna Rae is survived by her children Rick Sweeney and Vickie Eagle, grand children Roger Sweeney, Rodney Sweeney, Traci Clark, Rusty Eagle, and Tambi Eagle as well as seven great-grandchildren and 1 great-great grandchild.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, December 4th, 2021 at 5:30 p.m. English Funeral Chapel, 1700 N. Spokane St, Post Falls, Idaho The family has requested that all contributions and donations in her memory be made to the Post Falls Historical Society.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Donna Rae Sweeney, please visit our flower store.

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Saturday, December 4, 2021

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