Bob and Donna shared a love of Chippewa Falls and felt fortunate to be able to raise their children (Paul, Scott & Anne) in such a wonderful community. They also had a passion to improve the quality of life for all Chippewa Falls citizens. Among their many interests were community and family history. Donna passed away unexpectedly in September 2013 at the "young" age of 57. The following words were among those spoken on September 14, 2014, by Larry Pearson at the Cook-Rutledge Mansion at a ceremony honoring Donna, a past Board Chair:
We find ourselves here today to remember and honor Donna Hogseth. In life, our paths cross the paths of many other people. If we're fortunate, our paths cross the paths of others that have a profound impact on our lives. On a personal note, my path first crossed Donna's path when I taught her children in Fifth Grade many years ago. Much like the braided rivers found in nature, our paths continued to cross as she became involved with her volunteer efforts here at the Cook-Rutledge Mansion. Donna joined the Mansion Board as a Board member and served as President of the Board for two years. She was, at times, Chief, cook, and bottle washer. She didn't shy away from any challenge or project. Her gentle confidence and leadership helped the Cook-Rutledge Mansion set and achieve goals. I remember how she guided our fundraising efforts. Her vision and knowledge, especially her computer skills, captured our attention and led us forward with our fundraising. She didn't just have ideas and vision. She taught us the necessary computer skills to get everyone involved with the project. She'd always say, "You can do this."
Our paths have crossed here today not only to remember and honor Donna but to thank her for her volunteer efforts at the Cook-Rutledge Mansion. Donna always said, "I love the Cook Rutledge Mansion." I believe that she wasn't speaking just of the bricks and mortar of the mansion. She loved the idea of keeping history alive. She loved the idea of sharing that history with others. Thank you, Donna, for your vision and your sharing.
While you are no longer in our physical presence, you're in our hearts and minds. We've planted a tree in your honor on the Cook-Rutledge Mansion grounds. As it grows, your vision of sharing will continue to grow. Your tree will share its beauty and shade with all. (Larry Pearson, 2014)
Following Donna's passing, Bob continued their history of helping improve the community. He accepted a leadership role in the 2017-2022 Capital Campaign and building of the Chippewa Area History Center. The Center's "Hogseth Volunteers Lounge" was named in honor of Bob and Donna's philanthropic activities and financial gifts. They were always strong supporters of the Community Foundation, ever since its inception in 2001. Bob served on the Community Foundation's Board of Directors from 2006-2012 and was the 2011-2012 Board Chair. This fund is the third fund established by the Hogseths.
Grants provide support to the Cook Rutledge Mansion and the Chippewa Area History Center