Donna Clark

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Donna Clark
Female silhouette.png
Birth nameDonna Parmeneter
Birth date1910
Death date1983
SpouseGarth Matson
Spouse2Wayne Clark
Barbara MatsonF1932
Frank MatsonM1940

Donna Clark née Parmeneter has not directly appeared in Spearfish Lake Tales, but her legacy is still felt.

Donna Parmeneter was a beautiful girl when she was young.WTLC9 She married Garth Matson and had two children, Barbara and Frank Matson. Garth was the Vice President of the bank in Spearfish Lake and was the commander of the local National Guard unit when World War 2 started. "The train taking them down to Camp Knox wasn't even out of sight yet when Donna and Wayne were getting it on out in his hunting camp. Garth heard about it, and eventually divorced her."DW17

She next married Wayne Clark, the founder of Clark Plywood and a widower with a son from his first marriage, Brent Clark. Wayne died and she didn't get on with either her son or step-son, especially over their inheritances from Wayne when he died. While estranged from those two, her step-grandson, Ryan Clark, managed to stay in her good graces.AF26

While she was married to Garth Donna had gotten involved with the March of DimesFK18 and was the chair of the local chapter when polio attacked children in Spearfish Lake in August 1955.FK11 She organised volunteers to provide Sister Elizabeth Kenny rehabilitation treatments and exercises to polio patients in the hospital.FK18 She contacted the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, eventually speaking to the nationall chair Basil O'Connor to get Salk vaccine to Spearfish Lake.FK14 She also arranged nurses and former nurses to give the inocculations at the High School.FK19

Donna had a forceful personality, and she became a community leader in the field of good works.WTLC9

Donna died in 1983, leaving her shares in Clark Plywood to Ryan Clark and much money to the Donna Clark Memorial Foundation. Ryan and Jane Masterfield were named trustees of the foundation with her long-time friend from the Women's Club, Kate Ellsberg, actively administrating the Fund. Wayne and Donna Clark's house, an old lumber baron's mansion, was sold by Binky Augsberg for $450,000, all of which went into the foundation.AF26

The fund supported Mike McMahon's book on the Warsaw Fire with profits going to the historical society.BAR25 It also helped fund the expedition to retrieve Henry Toivo's body from Vietnam.AF40

Although she is an active character in only two books, Forgotten Killer and The West Turtle Lake Club, she or her foundation play a role in several other books, including Dawnwalker , Busted Axle Road , Absent Friend , Hannegan's Cove , Susan, Stray Kitten, Hiding Patty, Birdwatcher Hill Fire and Out of the Cage.