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HODGERT – Donalda Margaret (formerly Halstead) (nee Murdoch)

August 12, 1927 – February 1, 2011

Donalda Hodgert of Calgary, passed away on February 1, 2011 at the age of 83 years.

Donna was born in Winnipeg August 12, 1927. She had a difficult start contracting a celiac disorder which kept her on the side lines at school. This might have played a role in her love of outdoor activity and activity of all kinds. She attended Balmoral Girls School in Winnipeg and was truly a debutante. The University of Manitoba was her next quest leaving there with a Bachelor degree and a fiancé ultimately marrying Bill Halstead. Donna and Bill had a family of four, Don, Dave, Carla and Dean. Donna was a career woman long before it became fashionable. In other words, she contributed to the Women’s Movement by example. She was instrumental in developing and starting the Broadcasting and Journalism Program at Mount Royal College in Calgary and during this time hosted a talk show at CHQR radio. Donna went on to Husky Oil in the capacity of Public Relations for the Husky Tower before assuming the role of Executive Secretary to the President. She joined the Calgary Public School Board in the late 1960s and taught at A.E. Cross Junior High and Viscount Bennett High School before, once again, choosing a career in public relations by accepting a high profile position with the Alberta Teachers Association as Public Relations Officer. She was always proud of the fact that after she left they filled the position with two men. Donna then completed her Masters of Education at the University of Calgary and returned to teaching by way of Western Canada High. During this time she married Ken Hodgert and was with him until he passed away in 2010. Donna was very proud to be the first woman to attain accreditation by the Canadian Public Relations Association. As busy as Donna was she was always completely dedicated to her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She leaves four children, ten grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. After retirement Donna continued to enjoy her lifelong love of dancing, vegetable gardening, travelling and entertaining. Any family member close to the house on Sundays or Holiday times would certainly make their way over for unforgettable hospitality and food. Donna leaves a legacy of service through teaching and by her actions leading women in to a new era. We lose a wealth of knowledge, wisdom and heritage at this passing.

Donalda is survived by her younger brother Frank Murdoch. She was predeceased by Mom and Dad Beatrice and Don Murdoch; and her first and second husbands, Bill Halstead and Ken Hodgert.

Memorial Services will be held at Scarboro United Church (134 Scarboro Avenue S.W.) on Monday, February 7, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. You may forward condolences through

If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to The Alzheimer Society of Calgary, Suite 201, 222 – 58th Avenue S.W., Calgary, AB T2H 2S3, Telephone: (403)290-0110,

In living memory of Donalda Hodgert, a tree will be planted at Big Hill Springs Park, Cochrane by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Crowfoot Chapel, 82 CROWFOOT CIRCLE N.W. Telephone: (403) 241-0044.

Offer Condolence for the family of HODGERT – Donalda Margaret (formerly Halstead) (nee Murdoch)

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Condolence Messages

  1. Rhoda Glaspie and family :

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family at this time.

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  2. David and Peggy Halstead :

    To Donald, David, Carla and Dean. Please accept our sincerest condolences on the passing of your mother. Unfortunately we never met her, but her obituary clearly described a very talented, productive and loving woman. May your days be filled with good memories and the knowledge that many people support you in your time of sorrow.

    David and Peggy Halstead Winnipeg

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  3. I attended Western in the late 70s, and, unusually, had Mrs. Hodgert as my teacher for each of English 10, 20 and 30. To the extent that I have been successful since, the grounding in English I received at her hands is one of the vital elements to which I freely give credit. Donna made a difference in my life, and so surely must have done so in countless others. I would hope that offers you some solace in your time of loss.

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  4. Karen Pryznyk :

    I never knew Donalda but her first husband, Bill, was my Dad’s first cousin. My brother David brought this obituary to my attention. She was obviously a remarkable woman. She will have inspired many young women to reach their full potential by her example. She will no doubt be missed by her family but she has left a great legacy. My condolences on her passing. Karen Pryznyk (nee Halstead)

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  5. Catherine Bommes (nee Sweet) :

    We had some good times over the years in Winnipeg, Ponemah, Calgary and Thunder Bay. The hospitality was always terrific and many fond memories. Cousin Catherine

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  6. My Dear cousin Donalda is gone and will be missed by all who knew her. She was so full of fun and so very hospitable. We had many good times with her and Ken over the years. They both loved life and treated all with great respect. What good people. And so talented. A classy couple.
    To all the family our deepest sympathy. Jim, Olga and family

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  7. Mairi Matheson :

    To David and all Halstead children
    Please accept my deepest condolences on the passing of your mother Donalda. I remember her from our early days with much fondness. She was a good friend to all and a dedicated colleague. Her legacy to our community is highly are in my thoughts and prayers at this time. Warmest regards, Mairi Matheson

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