Donna Ventura, 64, of Belgrade, MT, passed on April 29, 2023, with her loving family at her side. Born in St. Louis, MO, to Richard and Ruth Stelmar, she was one of five children. She earned a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Missouri, followed by a Master’s Degree from George Washington University in Washington, DC. Her first job was with the ANSER Corporation in Arlington, VA, as a travel analyst.
After marrying in June 1989, Donna’s career advanced to INTELSAT, a multi-national satellite service provider in Washington, DC, where she served as travel manager. Shortly after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks she demanded that the family move out of the Washington, DC area. Donna and her husband both secured employment at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. She served as a budget analyst with an ever-increasing scope of responsibilities. Donna worked at Los Alamos until her retirement in April 2019 when she moved to Montana to oversee the construction of the family’s Gallatin Valley home.
Donna used her retirement to serve her community, volunteering at the Gallatin Valley Food Bank, the Warriors and Quiet Waters Foundation, and the Sweet Pea Festival. She also served lunch during the summer months to school age children and pursued her passion of baking by working part time at Elle’s Belles Cookies and Cakes in Belgrade. She was an avid Bunko player and joined book clubs in Virginia, New Mexico and Montana.
Donna and her husband traveled extensively, including trips to Japan, Portugal, Scotland, England, Turkey, many islands in the Caribbean, and Canada. She also explored all the states on the Atlantic seaboard, the Dakotas, Colorado, Wyoming and Hawaii.
Her greatest accomplishment and what she took the greatest pride in was her son, a graduate of the University of Connecticut (bachelor’s degree) and Texas A&M (Juris Doctorate). He currently serves as a JAG in the United States Marine Corps.
Memorials in Donna’s honor are suggested to the MSU Hilleman Scholars Program, c/o MSUAF, PO Box 172750, Bozeman, MT 59717; or to Warriors and Quiet Waters, 351 Evergreen Drive, #A, Bozeman, MT 59715.