LaDonna (Metcalf) Jimison

Sunday, January 20, 2019
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LaDonna (Metcalf) Jimison, age 72, of Glendive passed with peace and grace after an 8 year battle with ovarian cancer on Monday, January 7, 2019 in Menlo Park, Calif. with her husband and four children at her side. A vigil service will be held at 7 p.m. on Sunday, January 20, 2019 at the Silha Funeral Home in Glendive. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, January 21, 2019 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Glendive with Father Francis Schreiber officiating. Private family Rite of Committal will be in the Dawson County Cemetery in Glendive. Silha Funeral Home of Glendive has been entrusted with the arrangements.

LaDonna was born in Kalispell on December 10, 1946 to Virgil Bernard and Dorthy (Zacharias) Metcalf. She was educated in Kalispell, graduating with Flathead High School class of 1965. While representing the Flathead High School Braves she excelled in orchestra as first chair cello in the All Northwest Orchestra in Portland, Ore. She also won the title of Northwest Montana Junior Miss in 1964 with her talent, a ballet to the “Ritual Fire Dance.” She was in National Honor Society and graduated in the top 10 of her class of 350 students. Continuing her education at Montana State University, she was a member of the Alpha Gamma Delta Sorority and a member of the esteemed Air Force Honor Marching group called Angel Flight. During her senior year at MSU, she was elected commander of that group which went on to win the Commander’s Trophy at the National Competition at Spokane Air Force base. She graduated with a B.A degree in business education with a minor in physical education and married Jerry Jimison on the same weekend in June of 1969.

LaDonna went from being an only child to having 5 younger brothers and sistersin-law. After their wedding, LaDonna joined Jerry in Billings and started teaching classes at Billings West High School in the fall of 1969 where Jerry was already a teacher and football coach at Billings Senior High School. After the birth of their first child, DeVonna, LaDonna became a very busy mother, coaches wife and business partner. LaDonna and Jerry purchased and managed the Beartooth Bar in Red Lodge. After the birth of Cole, Tiffany and Michaela, LaDonna and Jerry relocated their family to Glendive in 1977. Initially they were both involved in subdividing and developing Windham Hills subdivision. Shortly thereafter, Jerry started a career at BNSF railroad and LaDonna started doing what she loved most, teaching dance.

In the fall of 1978 she established LaDonna’s School of Dance and spent the next 40 years as its owner, choreographer, artistic director and seamstress, adding classes as she went and establishing the Nutcracker performance as a Glendive holiday tradition. LaDonna’s School of Dance competition dancers competed in California, Nevada, North Dakota, Texas, Wyoming and Montana, always bringing home many awards. All three of her daughters began helping as instructors and have continued helping with the day-to-day operations as LaDonna’s battle with cancer slowed down her teaching activities. LaDonna was a member of the Montana Dance Arts Association during her career, and at the time of her passing, LaDonna was instructing 3rd generation dancers. She also enjoyed performing with the Badland’s Cloggers which were invited to numerous events throughout Montana and North Dakota, and also with the Fractured Follies.

LaDonna never sat with idle hands. Whether it was riding in a vehicle to an event or visiting with family and friends, her hands were busy doing needle work. Her weekly baking of delicious breads for her children and grandchildren, hosting gourmet dinners for family and friends and making home made gifts of sweet cinnamon rolls shaped into Christmas wreaths are fondly remembered. She ensured each of her children and grandchildren had one of her handmade Christmas stockings hung in her home during the Christmas season. Her sewing accomplishments include her daughters’ wedding dresses, and teaching her daughters and granddaughters how to sew for their 4H projects. She taught her grandchildren the importance of learning vegetable and flower gardening, piano lessons and passed on her love of music to all. LaDonna rarely missed her children’s or grandchildren’s activities and sporting events, and enjoyed following all of them in their endeavors.

LaDonna is survived by her loving husband, Jerry Jimison; children and grandchildren, DeVonna (Darren) Snow – Craig, Alexis and Reece of Bismarck, N.D., Cole (Jenny) and Jasmine Jimison of Menlo Park, Calif., Tiffany (Rhett) Coon – Taven and Ramey of Glendive and Michaela (Wade) Murphy - Karsen, Michael, Sari, Maysa, Maverick and Stori of Glendive; seven cousins located in Spokane, Wash., Meridian, Idaho, and Longview, Wash.; extended family, Linda (Randy) Baldwin, Karen (Wilbur) Wallace, Ralph (Micki) Jimison, Paula Gorder and Pam Jimison; LaDonna’s Goddaughters, Leah Jacobsen and Amy Gorder; 12 nieces and nephews; 24 great-nieces and nephews; stepmother-in-law, Olivia Jimison; and stepsister-in-law, Jerilyn (Randy) Miller.

LaDonna was preceded in death by her parents; her Grandmother Zacharias; her Grandmother Metcalf; parents-in-law, Ethel and Ray Jimison; brothers-inlaw, Allen Jimison and Clyde Gorder; and niece, Heather Marie Jimison.

In lieu of flowers, LaDonna has asked for donations to establish a scholarship fund for graduating seniors at her studio.

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