Donna Marjorie Robinson Bakman, 75

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Donna Marjorie Robinson Bakman, 75

Feb. 11, 1942 – Dec. 24, 2017

Donna Marjorie Robinson Bakman, 75, was born on Feb. 11, 1942, in Bonners Ferry, Idaho. She spent her life in North Idaho, and her heart was happiest in the mountains and rivers that made her home great.

Donna went through school in Bonners Ferry, and was active in FHA and 4-H. She received her nursing assistant license from North Idaho College and worked for a number of medical practices throughout the Coeur d’Alene area. Donna finished out her career as an office manager for Lutheran Community Services, and went on to serve many throughout her community as a volunteer after retirement.

In 1977, Donna co-founded the North Idaho Flycasters organization in Coeur d’Alene, and she taught fly tying and casting to fishermen young and old throughout the area. She had a fly tying vice attached to her end table as it held a rightful place of honor in her home.

Donna discovered a passion for music when she took voice lessons in her early years. She sang in the North Idaho College Choir, 3Cs Coeur d’Aleers and the North Idaho Sacred Music Chorale for many years. She spent her life in service to others, and the community she served at Lutheran Church of the Master were considered treasured members of her family.

In 1990, Donna went on a blind date to the Ground Round with Ernie Bakman, and her first trip to Silverwood on the loop-de-loop led to marriage in 1991. Ernie and Donna loved to travel in their camper, and to kayak and fish her beloved rivers. They shared their lives for 26 years, and listening to the two of them laugh together was pure joy.

Donna was an accomplished seamstress, quilter, painter, gardener, and her canned goods were delicious enough to inspire her grandchildren to fight over green beans. She judged at county fairs all over North Idaho. Her quilts were treasured gifts for new babies, weddings, graduations, and some were given just because she thought you needed one. Donna organized a quilting group with fellow church members, and their quilts were sent around the world to help those who needed a warm hug.

Donna is survived by her husband, Ernest Bakman; brother Rod (Jeannie) Robinson; uncle Hartley (Janice) King; five children, Linda (Ashley) Hoyle, Alan Soderling, Craig Soderling, Bret (Elizabeth) Coppess and Bruce (Michelle) Coppess; 13 grandchildren and countless friends whom she considered family. They will miss her redheaded spirit, sparkling laugh, all-too-honest Christmas letters and her no-nonsense brand of unconditional love that can never be replaced.

Donna passed away on Christmas Eve (her mother’s birthday), at her home in Hayden, Idaho, with her loving husband, Ernie, and little dog, Maggie, by her side. She loved her life and taught many lessons to those lucky enough to know her: get outside, dig in the dirt, catch some fish, create something with your hands, love a dog, bake cookies with little kids, plant flowers, hug a neck, eat from the garden, love Jesus and your people with your whole heart.

A memorial service will be held at 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 5, 2018, at the Lutheran Church of the Master in Coeur d’Alene. A private family burial will be held in Porthill, Idaho.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Cancer & Community Charities of North Idaho, P.O. Box 1274, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83816.

Yates Funeral Home is entrusted with the care of final arrangements. Please visit Donna’s memorial and sign her online guest book at

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