Obituary: Donna Mae Hoffman-Rabideaux


May 19, 2023

Donna Mae Hoffman-Rabideaux, 61, of Carlton passed away May 7, 2023, after a fierce four-year battle with mesothelioma cancer. Visitation will be held 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, May 23 at Nelson Funeral Care in Cloquet, and will continue from 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 24 until the 11 a.m. Memorial Mass of Christian Burial at St. Francis Catholic Church in Carlton. Inurnment with military honors will follow at St. Francis Cemetery.

Donna was born on May 26, 1961, in Cloquet to Peter and Lydia (Dertinger) Fink. She was raised in Carlton and graduated from high school in 1979. Later that year, Donna enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, and was proud of her service in flight control with the 318th Fighter Squad in the state of Washington. She was certified to work on both the F-15A and F-15B Eagle fighter aircraft. Following her honorable discharge, she returned to her roots in Minnesota and soon began her career as an electronics technician with Minnesota Power. Donna retired at 58 in 2019. Donna was a devout member of St. Francis Catholic Church in Carlton. She had a passion for fishing and an appreciation of the outdoors. She loved to garden, specializing in cherry tomatoes. Her dedication to a strict exercise regimen was admirable, and many will remember her passing them by on one of her many walks with her beloved Wookie. Donna’s soft spot for animals extended to her wild birds and animals of the world that she supported through the ASPCA and World Wildlife Fund. Donna will surely be remembered for her strong mentality and ability to fight with dignity even through the toughest trials of her battle with cancer.

Donna is remembered by her siblings, Jerry (Jeryl) Fink, Debbie (Jeff) Swenson and John (Mary) Fink; life partner, Joel “Steve” Rabideaux; several nieces and nephews; and countless close friends. She was preceded in death by her parents.

Donna wanted to extend a special thank-you to Dr. Silva-Benedict and Dr. Bonin, the nurses and staff at St. Luke’s Oncology, and the St. Croix Hospice team. She truly appreciated the exceptional care and compassion shown to her.

In lieu of flowers, memorials in Donna’s honor to St. Jude or a charity of your choosing are preferred.


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