Donna Morgan

Donna C. Morgan

October 15, 1936 ~ Sept. 14, 2022

Donna Morgan, 85, lifetime Nome resident, died peacefully of natural causes on September 14, 2022 just before midnight.  She was surrounded by a large group of family members in her final days. 

Donna was born in Nome, Alaska on October 15,1936 to Don and Mary Ellen Lyle.  She grew up with her sister Mary Louise and attended Nome Public Schools.  She graduated from Nome High School in 1955, and attended Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon.  She married Barrow J. Morgan on November 23, 1956, and together they raised five amazing children.   She resided in Nome until 2014 when she reluctantly moved to the Anchorage Pioneer Home as her need for care increased.

Leaving her beloved Nome was very difficult for her.

Donna and Barrow owned and operated Morgan’s Snowmachine Sales and Service (Polaris) for over 40 years, and Morgan Enterprises, providing school bus transportation service to Nome’s K-12 students.  Both businesses are still owned and operated by members of the family.

Donna was involved in many community organizations, including Beta Sigma Phi, Pioneers of Alaska Igloo #1, Women's Auxiliary and the United Methodist Church. She had several hobbies including gardening, traveling, baking, photography, sewing/quilting, painting and other artsy pastimes. She loved spending time outside snow machining with her family, berry picking, beach combing, crabbing and fishing.  If she wasn’t traveling, working on a project in town, or out on a backcountry adventure, she could be found at the Dexter cabin, tending to her garden and enjoying family.  Family was definitely the focus of Donna’s life.  Spending time with her five children (Stan, Noma, Bruce, David and Debbie), their spouses, 16 grandchildren and seven great grandchildren was her greatest passion. 

In 1998, her service and long life in Nome was honored when she was selected by the community as Nome’s Centennial Queen.  This was a great honor for her and the entire family as “Queen Donna” was so very proud to have spent her life in such a wonderful community.

Donna had a kind, warm, loving spirit and was quick to put others first.  She loved life and was always up for any adventure.  She had such a knack for exhibiting class, while also maintaining the tough pioneer spirit that is so emblematic of her generation.   As a second-generation Alaskan, she and Barrow built a family that is hardworking, adventurous, fun and just a little (maybe a lot) competitive. She was the pillar of the Morgan family.  Moving forward, the family will honor Donna and Barrow’s memory by continuing to spend time together, crying, laughing, telling stories and playing Yahtzee.

Donna is survived by her children: Stan (Ruby) of Nome, Noma (Luke in memory) Terhaar of Minneapolis, Bruce (Linda) of Anchorage, David (Joy) of Nome, Deborah (David) Karp of Anchorage; 16 grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, sister Mary Louise (Ron) Dutton of Gering, Nebraska, sisters-in-law Beverly Blanning of Soldotna, Alice (Bob) Glenn of Anchorage, and several nieces and nephews who live throughout Alaska. 

She is preceded in death by her parents and her husband Barrow.

The family will be planning a celebration of life sometime in the spring/summer of next year.   In lieu of flowers, the family requests any contribution be made to the Pioneer Igloo #1 Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box #146, Nome, AK 99762.

As she joins Barrow in heaven, we hope they rest peacefully and take great pride in their family and the life they created for us.



The Nome Nugget

PO Box 610
Nome, Alaska 99762

Phone: (907) 443-5235
Fax: (907) 443-5112

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