Heidi Donkle Conn

RENO, Nev. – Heidi Donkle Conn, 65, of Turner, Maine, and Sparks, Nev., was taken from earth too soon on Jan. 29, 2021.

A loving mother, grandmother, wife, sister, and friend, Heidi was an outdoor enthusiast and the matriarch of her family. The littlest loves of her life, her four grandchildren, called her Oma. Heidi took her final breaths in Reno, Nev., alongside her husband, Doug; daughter, Gretchen; son, Wayne; son-in-law, Jeremy; and daughter-in-law, Katie, all by her side physically and virtually.

Heidi was born on June 9, 1955, in Illinois to Lucius and Joellen Donkle. Heidi attended Rich Central High School in Park Forest, Ill.; received her bachelor’s degree from Springfield College in Massachusetts; and her master’s in psychology from the University of Southern Maine. Heidi started her career teaching physical education at Leavitt Area High School in Turner, Maine, alongside her spouse of 44 years, Doug, before transitioning to her career she had until her early retirement, as a Guidance Counselor at Edward Little High School in Auburn.

Heidi thrived off helping high school students find their place at such an important time of their life. In the summer months, Heidi enjoyed days with her family at their camp at Bear Pond water skiing, boating, exploring, and creating memories that will be forever cherished.

Heidi was a woman of many interests, talents, and hobbies from prior to her paraplegia (in 2011) and afterwards. Heidi always maintained a desire to live life to its fullest, always up for more adventure and travel. She loved the wind in her face and relished in her close relationship with “GOD” – the Great OutDoors. Her artwork and jewelry are iconic symbols throughout homes of those who knew her. Heidi was a member in good standing of a 12-step program for 32 years. She was a significant power of example for living a fulfilling life in the face of adversity and was helpful to many people.

Heidi is survived by her spouse, Doug; daughter, Gretchen and spouse Jeremy Saar; son, Wayne and spouse Katie Conn; grandchildren: Chloe, Bodie, Kenley and Carson; Doug’s sister, Martha (Scott) Stubbs and children, Megan and Sarah; Heidi’s brother, Lucius (Pricillia) Donkle, children, Luke and Alex; Heidi’s brother, Chris (Cherry) Donkle and children, Daniel, Victoria and Jillian.

A celebration of life will be held in Turner and Reno, Nev., for the community of friends and family established at a later date, given pandemic challenges. In lieu of flowers at this time, Heidi’s family asks that you honor Heidi in a way that aligns with Heidi’s soul and passion for life. Please take the time to enjoy a cup of tea/coffee, dedicate time to creating art, teach yourself something new, listen to a new audiobook or podcast, enjoy some dark chocolate, get outside and explore, feel the wind in your face, eat the healthy food to fuel your body, enjoy the food and make the noises to show it. Live, breathe, take it all in. Ski fast, have fun, good luck.

If you choose, donate to an adaptive organization in Maine or Tahoe area that she frequented or if a member of a 12 step program donate to aa.org.




Heidi Donkle Conn

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