Donna May McPheeters Coup, retired Libby elementary teacher, passed away Jan. 25, 2018, at Claremont East Retirement home in Bremerton, Washington. She was born April 12, 1935 in Kalispell, the third of four children born to Bernice and Willard McPheeters. Donna grew up with her brothers and sister in the Flathead, enjoying the outdoors, picnics, fishing, Glacier Park, Flathead cherries and, of course, huckleberries.
She graduated from Flathead High School in 1953, then went on to Northern Montana College in Havre, achieving a two-year teaching certificate. She taught for one year in Rudyard, and then moved to Libby, taking a job with the Libby Public School District in 1956 where she developed her career and deep friendships with her colleagues.
Donna met her future husband Herb, soon after moving to Libby; they were married June 2, 1957 in Kalispell at Christ Church Episcopal. As they built their life together, it always centered around hard work with devotion to family and friends. Donna had two children, Brian and Paula, and had a special place in her heart for all of her nieces and nephews. Her favorite place became the cabin they built at Upper Thompson Lake, where fond memories developed over the years of their best family times.
While her children were young, she attended summer school and completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1967 at Northern Colorado University in Greeley, Colorado. To pursue her degree with children in tow and Herb working hard at home in Libby was a real team effort! Donna prided herself as a life-long learner and dedicated her continuing education to varied subjects that she then taught in the class room. She participated in a teaching exchange trip to Japan and China — she was always excited to try something new! Her devotion to her students was very important to her; she was always concerned about how they were doing and praised their accomplishments. She taught them to work hard, believe in themselves, and never be afraid to try. After a distinguished forty-year career in elementary education, Donna retired in 1996.
After retirement, Donna and Herb enjoyed many activities and their time together. They traveled extensively, even if Herb was sometimes a little reluctant to go!
Donna was preceded in death by her parents, Bernice and Willard; her brother Bill; and her husband Herb, who passed away July 16, 2010.
She is survived by her children, Brian and Paula; son-in-law Rich; brother Roger; sister Beverly; her three grandsons — Jon (wife Sarah), Joseph Coup and Lance Corporal Mark Coup, USMC; and the latest addition to the family, her great-grandson Liam Coup.
The family will all be together Friday, Aug. 3, 2018, in Libby for her funeral and celebration of her life. Time is to be determined.
In lieu of flowers, please contribute to your local Hospice or Alzheimer’s Association, and support Libby Public Schools.