March 31, 1959 – March 10, 2020 – (age 60)
Our loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, daughter, sister, aunt and best friend, Donna Marie Wadman Hamson, 60, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly from a massive stroke on Tuesday, March 10, 2020, at the Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George, Utah.
She was born on March 31, 1959, in Ashtabula, Ohio, a daughter of James and Mary Elizabeth Gann Burgandine. She was reared and educated in Niles, Ohio. Donna spent most of her early years assisting her mother at work or in mischief.
At the age of fifteen, Donna left Ohio when cousin Jim, her mentor, ask her to come to Michigan to work in the restaurant he was managing. Donna left Michigan bound for Denver, Colorado where she has family when Jim moved to Utah. While in Denver she started her own family adding two daughters, Mary and Jennifer. In 1983 Jim once again asks Donna to come work for him as assistant manager of the Country Kitchen Restaurant (Now known as J&D’s Family Restaurant). So off she went with daughters to Utah. Upon arrival in Brigham City, she fell madly in love with the mountains and vowed to never leave.
While in Brigham she met, married and later divorced Carl Wadman who adopted her two daughters and supported her in establishing the West Forest Kennels. She sold the Kennels after cousin Jim offered to sell J&D’s to her.
After her divorce from Carl, She met and married the love of her life Dale Stanley Hamson. Their union merged two families and started an unbelievable love affair.
From the minute she saw the mountains east of Brigham, Donna made it a goal to make Brigham City her home and her community.
During her 37 years here she provided many services to the public. She was instrumental in Humane Society and was a staunch animal rescuer. She took in many dogs, cats, and a fowl foul mouthy African Grey parrot.
Donna was an Animal Cruelty Investigator for Box Elder County Sherriff.
Donna was a school bus driver for Box Elder School District, driving routes in Corinne and Mantua. The students loved Donna, as being one of their favorite bus drivers. Many close and loving relationships, from the bus days, exist today. With many of the students stopping at J&D’s to keep her up to date about their lives and show off their families.
Donna bought J&D’s 23 years ago in September and has been a staple business in Brigham City ever since. Through the restaurant, Donna served her other animal Loves (humans) with daily hugs and laughter as well as a free Thanksgiving Dinner yearly for over 20 years, until her health wouldn’t permit it.
In 2017, Donna started working for her very dear friend Brent at Gillies Funeral Chapel as a Comfort Specialist. Her hugs can soothe any broken heart.
Donna received the Total Citizen Award in 2012 from the Brigham City Chamber of Commerce. In 2017 she along with Dale were honored to be Grand Marshall’s of Brigham City’s Peach Days Parade.
Since retiring from the day to day operation of the restaurant, Donna and Dale have been spending the winter months at the 4 Four Seasons RV Park in Littlefield, Arizona, where she met and fell in love with the most incredible people. Instantly developing many cherished friends and new family members.
Her favorite past time was fishing, hands down. As a devout Christian, Donna studied the Bible daily. Donna touched the hearts of many people and will be missed dearly.
Surviving are her sweetheart, Dale, her children: Mary B. Wadman Wendel; Jennifer (Cliff) Spence; Dustin Dale Hamson; Stacie Lee (Chris) Olsen; Chelsey and Jason Grange; 15 grandchildren, #1 grandchild, Logan Wadman, Sarah Wadman, Madilyn Wendel, Tytan Wendel, Tyler Wendel, Alora Spence, Emma Larsen, Brewer Hamson, Carson, Connor, and Layla Olsen, Annie, Brookie, Ellie (Della), and Bryson Grange, two great-grandsons, Ryker Wadman and Baylor Wendel. Her fur babies, Mr. Jones, Lacy, and Buddy. Also surviving are her father, James Burgandine of Ohio, seven siblings, Sherry (Paul) Chisholm, Marva (Floyd) Ates, Gary (Histerine) Karsikas, Jim (Cheryl) Burgandine, Nancy Klingensmith, Patricia Llewelyn and Tommy Burgandine and many nieces and nephews and cousins who she loved dearly.
She was preceded in death by her mother, three siblings, Jonathan Karsikas, Jim Burgandine and William (Big Bill) Burgandine and many beloved fur babies.
SUBJECT TO CHANGE BECAUSE OF THE VIRUS RESTRICTIONS: Funeral services will be private. A memorial will be held at a later date. Interment will be in the Brigham City Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please “Pay it Forward” whether it be a Hug, Animal Rescue or a Helping a fellow human. She lived a life of giving and service. The greatest tribute to her would be to “Pay it Forward” in her name.
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at gfc-utah.com