Dona Belle (Sem) Newell

January 30, 1931 ~ January 3, 2021 (age 89)


Dona Belle Newell, 89, of Choteau passed away peacefully January 3, 2021 at Benefis Peace Hospice in Great Falls, MT with her beloved son, Greg by her side.

Cremation has taken place under the direction of Gorder-Jensen Funeral Home and per Dona’s wishes there will be no funeral services.  Her ashes will be scattered alongside her husbands.

Dona was born January 30, 1931 in Joplin, Montana “The biggest little town on earth”; where she was raised by her grandma Petra Sem and attended elementary and junior high school.  In 1948, Dona moved to Shelby where she graduated high school with the class of 49’.

After graduation Dona worked at the 1st State Bank in Shelby for a time and on February 10, 1951 she married the love of her life Fred “Fritz” Newell.  The couple had a son, Gregory Alan Newell, and in 1967 the family moved to Choteau.  Dona and Fritz were entrepreneurs at heart.  They built and operated The Corral Western Wear in Choteau. Following the sale, they built and operated the Circle N Restaurant in Choteau. After the Sale of the Circle N, the couple bought the D - F Grocery in Dupuyer and after a time, sold that business and built and operated Fritz’s Gas Station and Store in Dupuyer.

Dona was a kind soul who never met a stranger. When she was not busy running her businesses and taking care of her family, she would spend time singing in the Lutheran Church Choir.  She helped to start Bright Eyes Care and Rehab Center in Choteau.  She was very active with the establishment and would volunteer her time, help with bake sales and made 2 different kinds of dog treats.  Dona also made beautiful petit point and enjoyed crafts and reading. She could easily read a book per night while her sight would allow.

Dona is survived by her son, Greg Newell and her daughter in-law, Greta Newell of Scottsdale, Arizona as well as a few nieces and nephews. She was pre-deceased by her husband Fritz Newell, her parents Harold Smith and Ida Marie Sem, her maternal grandparents and paternal grandparents.

In lieu of flowers donations in Dona’s name can be made to Bright Eyes Care and Rehab Center in Choteau.

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