Obituary: Donna Mae Barlow

Posted at 4:49 PM, May 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-01 18:49:36-04

Donna Mae Barlow passed away on April 22, 2022, in Bozeman, MT, at the age of 85.

She was born in Glasgow, Montana on July 12, 1936, to Ralph G. and Cora Brenden Taylor. She grew up the eldest of three children and graduated from Glasgow High School. On July 22, 1956, she married Norman E. Witherbee in Havre, MT. While living in Havre, their eldest daughter, Cheryl, was born in 1958. Two years later, the young family later moved to White Sulphur Springs, where their second daughter, Marlys, was born in 1962. A short time later, they moved to Great Falls, where their son, Wyatt, was born in 1964.

The family was active in the First Presbyterian Church in Great Falls, where Norman & Donna lead the high school youth group for several years and were active in the Mariners Club. Donna also served as Sunday School Superintendent for several years. Donna had an artistic talent and for many years created beautiful cakes for weddings, birthdays and special occasions in and around Great Falls.

Norman and Donna were divorced in 1974 and Donna later married Walter L. Barlow on June 21, 1975.

Donna worked as an electrical estimator for Cascade Electric for several years in the mid to late 1970s. She opened her own electrical contracting company, ARQ Electric, but closed it shortly after her son passed away in 1988.

Walter and Donna enjoyed traveling around the U.S., including Hawaii, and the Caribbean. After Walter’s passing in 1997, Donna started traveling the world. She made trips to the Azores and Portugal; Israel, Egypt, and Jordan; Peru, Ecuador, and the Galapagos; and Thailand, Burma, Vietnam, and Laos.

Donna had a love of animals, especially dogs, so after seeing the world, she went to work as office manager for Animal Medical Clinic. She retired in 2017 due to complications from aphasia. In July of 2021, her family moved her from Great Falls to The Springs Living Memory Care in Bozeman. The family would like to thank the care staff in “Footsteps” at The Springs and the Encompass Hospice Team for their assistance with Mom over the past few months.

Donna was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Walter L. Barlow; son, Wyatt W. Witherbee; brother, R. Duane Taylor; and sister, Marilyn (Taylor Morran) Burgmaier. She is survived by her daughters, Cheryl (Darby) Minnick of Bozeman and Marlys (Bruce) Flathers of Havre; grandsons, Nathan Minnick of Bozeman; Ethan Flathers of Joplin, MO; and Evan Flathers of Spokane, WA; granddaughter, Natalie (Mike) Hixson of Bozeman; and great-granddaughters Enya Hixson, Skye Hixson, Shay Hixson, and Estella Minnick all of Bozeman.

At Donna’s request, there will be no Memorial Service. Memorials may be made to the National Aphasia Association ( or to the charity of one’s choice.

Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. []