Donna Jean Eckhoff

Donna Jean Eckhoff, 54, of North Platte, died at home, Nov. 8, 2018, surrounded by her family, after a brave battle with cancer.

Donna was born on Jan. 1, 1964, to Johnie Malion Sr. and Helen Mae (German) Clair, the first New Year’s baby born at St. Mary’s Hospital in North Platte. She grew up in North Platte, where she went to school and had perfect attendance from kindergarten through sixth grade. Donna attended North Platte High School and later received her GED. She went on to earn her CNA certification then worked at Bethesda Care Center in Sutherland.

On June 29, 1991, she was united in marriage to the love of her life, Terry Lee Eckhoff, at the Sutherland United Methodist Church. The couple lived in Sutherland then moved to Haxtun, Colorado, for a while, before returning to Sutherland and eventually North Platte.

Since Terry drove a semi, they enjoyed going over-the-road, doing a lot of sightseeing together, and Donna learned to drive the semi. She and Terry were married only a few years when he died of cancer in 1999.

Donna went on to work at various places including J.C. Penny’s, Happy Heart, Employer Unity, Hospitality Inn, Hampton Inn, Herberger’s, Gary’s Super Foods, North Platte Public Schools and Mid-Plains Community College. She was a member of the Sutherland United Methodist Church and Relay for Life.

Along with her husband, Terry, she was preceded in death by her parents, Johnie and Helen Clair; nephew, Robert “Bobby” Vath Jr.; and special aunt, Cay Schaffer.

Donna is survived by her sister, Janet (Robert) Vath of Sutherland; brothers, Steven (Beth) Clair and Johnie “Jack” Clair Jr., both of North Platte and Jim (Brenda) Clair of Maxwell; eight nieces and five nephews; eight great-nieces and 11 great-nephews; and other family.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Gift of Hope to help others battling cancer. Online condolences may be shared at

Service will be 2 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 12, at the Sutherland United Methodist Church with the Rev. Dr. Douglas A. Delp officiating. Burial will follow at the Paxton Cemetery. Visitation will be from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. today, Nov. 10, and 1-6 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 11, at Odean Colonial Chapel at C & Sycamore, which is in charge of arrangements.

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