Donna Mae (Schaaf) Hamar, 71, from Bismarck passed away October 2, 2023 after bravely battling cancer. Donna was the quintessential hostess, opening her home for celebrations, gatherings, and countless holidays. She found joy through creating, whether her creations were cooked, quilted, cross-stitched, or planted. She loved her family fiercely and brought much joy and warmth to those in her life through humor, songs, trivia, games, parties, holidays, and food. Donna made life fun.
Born in Richardton, ND on July 14, 1952 to Michael and Clara (Zander) Schaaf, Donna grew up on a farm outside of Glen Ullin, ND. She was one of seven children, and the oldest daughter, making her the nurturer of her siblings. She graduated from Glen Ullin High School in 1970, and moved to Bismarck to study nursing at Mary College, where she became a gifted and caring nurse. She started her nursing career at St. Alexius Hospital, where she met the love of her life, Steve Hamar. She was a skilled nurse who not only worked as a surgical nurse and in the vascular lab, but she also shared her vast knowledge and experience in the operating room as a scrub tech instructor with the University of Minnesota. For many years after, she continued her career at Mid-Dakota Clinic. She served others by using her skills as a travel nurse in Honduras and Louisiana, where she worked with the American Red Cross after Hurricane Katrina.
Donna is survived by her husband, Steven Hamar, and their seven children: Scott Skaro (Tanya Spilovoy), Jenn Skaro (Paul McCay); Andrew Skaro (Laura), Becky Pelishek (Matt); Matt Hamar (Kristy); Chris Hamar, Amy Hamar (Rabah Aburub); and 15 grandchildren: Dakota and Ruby Skaro (Scott); Peyton Skaro (Jenny); Sally and Charlie Skaro (Andrew); Zoe, Sophia, and Maddie Pelishek (Becky); Ian, Miah, and Noah Hamar (Matt); Zane Hamar (Chris); Sara, Miriam, and Nyla Aburub (Amy). Donna is also survived by her mother, Clara Schaaf, and her siblings David Schaaf (Alvira), Rick Schaaf (Nora), Mary Herold (Dan), Brenda Duppong (Bill), Michael Schaaf (Valerie), Anne Covey (Rick), and many nieces and nephews.
She is preceded in death by her father, Michael V. Schaaf, two grandchildren, Adam and Ziyad Aburub, and her mother- and father-in-law Lowell and Lilian Hamar.
Donna will forever be remembered by her extended family, friends, co-workers, and others whose lives she impacted. The ripple effects of her extraordinary life and love will continue on for generations to come.
Please join our family for an open house (5-7pm) with a vigil prayer service beginning at 7pm on Thursday, October 5th, at Parkway Funeral Home, 2330 Tyler Pkwy.
Please note there will be no services on Friday.
Her funeral service will be held on Saturday, October 7th, at 10:30am at St. Anne’s Catholic Church, 1321 Braman Ave. Following the service, lunch will be served. The burial will follow at Union Cemetery in Mandan.
The family wishes that any memorial donations be made to: the American Cancer Society, the American Red Cross, or the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.