Donnita May (Nutter) HahnenbergNovember 27, 1927 ~ September 1, 2017 (age 89)
Donnita May Hahnenberg, 89, of Paw Paw, MI, passed away surrounded by her loving family at Maple Lake Assisted Living on September 01, 2017. Donnita was born on November 27, 1927 in Kalamazoo, MI, daughter of Ervil and Lila (Trewhitt) Nutter. She graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School and attended Western Michigan College where she met her husband to be of 68 years, Willard Hahnenberg. In the early 1950’s they moved from Kalamazoo to the Village of Paw Paw. She began taking piano lessons when she was six years old, but it was in fifth grade when she was introduced to the cello and it soon became an enduring passion. Her parents bought a cello for her when she was in high school and it served her well until the mid 1970’s when she was fortunate enough to acquire a 300 year old Italian cello.
She became a member of the Kalamazoo Junior Symphony in 1940, later advancing to the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra becoming one of that symphony’s longest-serving members. Over the years she was also a member of the Battle Creek, Southwest, Grand Rapids and Andrews University symphonies as well as St. Joseph’s Pro-Musica, the Carman Trio and other area chamber groups. In addition to her love of the cello, she was as avid doll collector being especially fond of baby dolls. She knitted and sewed clothes for them making them some of the best-dressed dolls anywhere. She had a knack for decorating and the house was always seasonally attired in the most creative ways. She also loved to travel and go camping. Will and Donnita, accompanied by their small dogs, loved to take their trailer to Brimley State Park in the Upper Peninsula where they would relax and venture forth to some of the nearby casinos. Often they would bring along their grandchildren creating wonderful memories of playing board games and just being together.
She is survived by her husband, Willard; children Tom (Cheryl) Hahnenberg of Lake Isabella, MI and Sarah Hahnenberg of Paw Paw, MI; 2 grandchildren; Simmon (Patricia) Hahnenberg of Austin, TX and Levi (Lisi) Hahnenberg of Atlanta, GA; and 4 great grandchildren; Giulia Avelar of Portage, MI, Sabrina and Zachary Hahnenberg of Austin, TX and Isabella Hahnenberg of Atlanta, GA; brother Robert Nutter of Port Charlotte, FL; sister Sandra (Richard) Hintz of Kalamazoo, MI; and many nieces and nephews. Preceding her in death were her parents Ervil and Lila Nutter.
A Celebration of life memorial gathering will be held April 28, 2018 beginning at 10:00 a.m. at the St. Mary Catholic Church, Paw Paw, where a Memorial Mass will commence at 11:00 a.m. A luncheon will follow at the church. The family would like to thank the caring and helpful assistance of Grace Hospice during Donnita’s final days and a very special thank-you to the wonderful and loving caregivers at Maple Lake Assisted Living. Memorial contributions may be directed to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Alzheimer's Association-South West Region, Michigan Great Lakes Chapter
200 Turwill Lane Suite 6, Kalamazoo MI 49006