Cover photo for Donna Sale's Obituary
Donna Sale Profile Photo
1944 Donna 2022

Donna Sale

January 19, 1944 — November 14, 2022

A Celebration of Life will be held on May 27, 2023.

Please contact Peter Sale for details.

Peacefully, in the early morning hours of Monday 14th November, Donna Marie Sale (Hindelang), aged 78, ended her battle with dementia at The Pines Long-Term Care Home where she had lived since June 2021. Predeceased by her parents Robert L. Hindelang and Vivian P. Hindelang (Varble) of Carrollton IL, and by her sister Holly A. Hindelang and brothers Michael and R. David Hindelang.  Donna leaves her much loved husband, Peter, her perfect son, Darian, her loved daughter-in-law, Michelle, her baby brother, Tom (Theo), sisters-in-law, Freda Bailey (Sale) and Tyann Hindelang, brothers-in-law, David (Susan) and Michael (Tanya), and the bright young star of her later years, her granddaughter, Isabelle.  As well, Donna leaves numerous nephews, nieces, cousins, second cousins and beyond, who are scattered across North America.

Donna was born in St. Louis MO, 19th January 1944, and grew up in the tiny town of Carrollton Il.  She attended the parochial grade school, developing her abiding faith in the wrongness of organized religion, and graduated from the public Carrollton High School.  During her undergraduate studies in biology at Eastern Illinois University, Donna took a summer course in marine biology at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.  Hooked on the ocean, she did an M.Sc. in Zoology at the University of Hawaii where she met her future husband.  After three delightful years in Hawaii and back in Illinois working as a technician at University of Illinois, Champaign, Donna took the largest, most daring leap of her life, scraped her pennies together and jumped on a plane to the other side of the world to join Peter, now at University of Sydney. They were married on the shore, waves crashing behind them, 25th April 1970, and lived in Australia until the end of 1987.

During that time Donna worked at University of Sydney, in physiological research and then in teaching of introductory biology, before taking time out for the important work of producing and beginning to raise their son born in 1978. Somehow, she found time to earn a certificate in library science and was employed at the Sydney Morning Herald in a program bringing newspapers and real news to the schools when Peter’s career whisked the family back to North America, first to Durham NH in 1988, then to Windsor ON in 1994, and finally to Muskoka in 2006, where she lived with Peter until entering The Pines.  During her time back in North America, Donna shunned paid work for the life of a volunteer, serving as a docent in the New Hampshire Maine Sea Grant Extension Program, working in an urban forestry program, and leading the Essex County Field Naturalists’ Natural Habitat Restoration Program which harvested seeds from Carolinian forest trees, delivering them to nurseries which grew them and put them into the market as a way of keeping the native flora in the environment.  Once in Muskoka, Donna rested, loving this special part of the planet.

Donna had a wicked sense of humor, and the ability, with a quietly sardonic comment, to bring her husband quickly down to the ground, when he was flying too high on his own erudition.  Such comments were always accompanied by a loving wink or smile.  She also was one of the few outsiders to really understand the Sale sense of humor.  Known to her many friends in Bracebridge as a pillar of her Probus Club, as one of the Latté Ladies, or just as a good friend and fun companion, Donna enjoyed the outdoors, Mah Jongg, cooking and sharing meals, and travel, especially cruising to places far away.  She will be missed, but, more importantly, will be remembered fondly by her many friends and family as someone who lived life fully and found ways to make the good even better.

As Donna would have wanted, there will be a celebration of her life in the Spring, where the goal will be to gather, to tell stories, and to have fun.  Please no flowers or cards, but condolences and memories may be shared through  For those who wish, donations in Donna’s memory may be made to The Pines Long-Term Care Home, The Nature Conservancy, the Muskoka Community Foundation, or to another charity of your choosing.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Donna Sale, please visit our flower store.


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