Akkerman-Ingebrand • Mora, MN

Rock-Ingebrand • Braham, MN

Mora, MN • 320-679-1933

Braham, MN • 320-396-2121



Bill Donager, of Braham, passed away on Saturday, October 20, 2018 at his home.  He was 69 years old.

MEMORIAL SERVICE will be held at 6:00 pm on Wednesday, October 24, 2018 at the Braham Event Center.

MEMORIAL VISITATION will be held from 4:00-6:00 pm, prior to the service at the Braham Event Center.

Willis “Bill” Lyle Donager, of Braham, passed away on Saturday, October 20, 2018 at his home. He was 69 years old.

Bill was born on December 28, 1948 in Blackduck, Minnesota to parents Raymond and Edna (TenEyck) Donager. When he was 5, the family moved to Littlefork where Bill attended school and graduated from Littlefork High School in 1966. Bill took 1 year of college courses before enlisting in the United States Army in September of 1967. He served during Vietnam and was honorably discharged in June of 1970. He returned to college at Bemidji State, earning a bachelor’s degree in Art and Business.

On December 18, 1971, Bill was united in marriage to Carol Jean Bjerk. In 1974, they moved to Braham where Bill started his career as an Art teacher at the Braham Middle School and later at the High School. After 32 years of teaching countless students, Bill retired in 2006.

Bill loved all types of art and enjoyed trips to art museums, making and teaching pottery, and painting. Bill was an avid NASCAR fan, and experienced a number of races in person. He loved the yearly summer trip to the lake for fishing and relaxing with his wife and sons and later his grandkids. Bill was an active member of the Braham VFW as well as the Vietnam Veterans of America. He enjoyed playing cards, especially Smear, with his family and friends and trips to the Renaissance festival in the fall. Bill will be dearly missed by his loving family and friends.

Bill is preceded in death by his parents and brother David.

He is survived by his wife Carol; sons, Andrew (Heather) and Brian (Teri); grandchildren, Tyler, Dylan, Kelten, Evelyn, Donѐ, Liam, and Zach; many other relatives and friends.

23 thoughts on “WILLIS “BILL” DONAGER”

  1. Rest in Peace Bill. Thank you for instilling you passion of art with all of us.
    Thoughts and prayers for your family during this time of your passing.

  2. Rest in peace Mr. DONAGER! You certainly were an amazing man! I will NEVER forget having to go to school in the summer of 1997 and walking into your class room as you taught me the classes I needed for the course. It was also a pleasure to see you from time to time and visit. My thoughts and prayers are with your amazing family and many friends!

  3. You were one of the best art teachers around! So much knowledge for pottery and all forms of art that you showed all of us who had the pleasure of being your students in Braham! May you Rest In Peace!!! You will be missed by many.

  4. Goodbye Bill. I say Bill because after I graduated you used to yell at me to not call you Mr.Donager. Haha. You were a great person and I will miss your witty humor. Lots of love

  5. So Long Mr Donager, Your Classes were some of my Favorite, even though I can barely draw a strait line.
    You have Earned a long rest, God Bless and I hope to see you in a few decades!

  6. Rest in beautiful peace, Mr. Donager. This is such sad news to hear, BUT I will always remember the last half of your class working on our various projects and you crankin up the “cool” radio station!

  7. Our deepest sympathy in the loss of dear Bill! Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this sad time.
    Marie and Kert Grundberg

  8. Great teacher, great neighbor, I or any student who walked the halls of the middle school will never forget his signature door slams. RIP

  9. My deepest sympathies to the Donager family. Bill was a most respected teacher, Patriot, colleague, and friend. He was always there with compassion and empathy when someone was in need. He was so helpful when I started painting, though he’d say, “if I had to grade it I’d give it a C-” ( All in fun of course, I think? ) With Bill I was never quite sure. Rest in Peace Bill, you will be missed by so many but our memories live on. I so remember those fond times of the Middle School, The frog drawings, the fishing trip on Mille Lacs and Bill shouting”got one on”, the Christmas parties and so many more.

  10. I lived in the art room my senior year, several classes and spent my independent study working on pottery projects. I spend many hours listening to Mr. Dees stories and input on how I could improve my talents in the arts. He also taught alot about life by the time a graduated he was a friend more than my teacher.

  11. Bill you will be missed by many you were a very good teacher I loved having you as a teacher I will never forget the time I join the service you told me always have eyes in the back your head love you brother

  12. Bill you will be missed by many you were a very good teacher I loved having you as a teacher I will never forget the time I join the service you told me always have eyes in the back your head love you brother rest in peace brother

  13. My children all enjoyed art at Braham because of My Donager, he will be missed by many. Prayers and thoughts sent to his family.
    Naomi Lagasse

  14. Rest in peace my friend! Your steadfast concern for my wellbeing is a pillar that kept me moving forward. A veteran who carried the burden of service for our country. An artist with great talent. A teacher who inspired. A friend who was always honest. Josie’s Godfather. May you find peace now. Billie Jean Asmussen

  15. Such an honor to have known you! One of the most realest and humorous people I have ever known. My respects to your family. May you rest in peace Mr. Donager! You will be missed dearly sir!

  16. Bill and I first met at Super John’s, a grocery store in Bemidji, where we both worked while attending college. I cashiered and Bill was a manager. We were surprised to cross paths when we both taught in Braham. I am grateful for the times we continued to cross paths, as Bill always took time to have a chat. I am blessed to have wonderful memories of Bill. My sympathies to Carol and the rest of the Donager family. I wish you wonderful memories to fill your heart.

  17. I thoroughly enjoyed art class in the “ole” middle school with Bill. His dry humor was not lost on me when others may not have been so aware of it. Brilliant mind with sharp observations of situations. I’m blessed to have had just a small exposure to the world of Bill.

  18. Mr. Donager, you were one of my most favorite teachers! I still have some of my pottery I made in your class! Listening to the radio, you telling at the slack offs lol I hope you are resting in paradise. My condolences to your family during this time! Thanks for the memories!

  19. I enjoyed art the most, I loved to try it all from the dark room with photography, pottery, air brushing, painting, hand sculpture. There was not a thing that iI did not try. Mr. D was great at inspiring you to be your best and how supportive he was.
    I would get notes from him to finish my projects to come back later in the day. He was a true treasure and made a heartfelt impression on my life and the community. The arts are somthing to this day I enjoy as a passion that he helped instill.
    From his firm voice to quiet a room and the respect he recived was given back on return. Thinking of all the good this man has done is a service and treasure to all.
    To the Donager family may your hearts be light in this heavy time of sorrow and remember all of the beautiful moments you shared. Thinking of you all.

  20. R.I.P. Mr. Donager. You taught me the art of drawing and painting all those years ago in middle school that I still love to do to this day. You even showed me how to spray paint and even given me one of your paintings which I still have and will cherish. You were one of a few teachers I can say I enjoyed being in your class. You will be missed.

  21. Rest in peace Mr. Donager. My husband and I and our sons had the pleasure of having you as one of our teachers and thought so much of you. Our prayers go with your family as they struggle through their loss.

  22. You were one of a kind Bill!! So glad to have met you 12 years ago. I always looked forward to you dropping by the flower shop and gracing us with your witty sarcasm. :)

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