Tribute to Winter Carnival legend Rick Donahue
Our community is sparked and powered by heroes hidden in plain sight, working tirelessly and over a long time to create goodness for the benefit of us all.
Rick Donahue was one of those heroes. You might have known him as Prince Frey. Or maybe Rick’s trumpet calls echo in your memory as he heralded in Kings and Queens, Princes and Princesses, Prime ministers and Duchesses as he blew that horn of his year after year as Herald the Hark. Maybe you remember him as Prime Minister in a red jacket reciting ridiculous rhymes reflecting royal remembrances as citizens of the realm were entered into knighthood. Or maybe you remember when he was given the honor of being crowned King Ullr L, Winter Carnival’s 50th year. Did you know that Rick was named a High Ullr, the ultimate honor that Winter Carnival bestows on those who go above and beyond in making Winter Carnival the success it has been over the years? If males could be Queens or Princesses, Rick would have been a strong candidate for that too.
Those were the visible honors bestowed on him. But did you know that Rick designed, produced and distributed many of the Winter Carnival buttons rattling around in your drawer; that behind the scenes he was a dedicated board member and committee chairperson; a mentor to many Royal parties, a holder of the traditions, an ambassador for our town, a Yeti fighter and a giver of smiles? And were you aware that last year Rick was crowned King of the Whitefish Mountain View Manor?
Rick is a legendary citizen of the wide realm of the Whitefish Winter Carnival. To our knowledge, no other person has done so much.
We won’t even talk about Rick and golf, although he excelled there as well, both as a player and as a coach.
Well, Rick passed away recently. We, who are Rick’s Winter Carnival family, will miss him. We acknowledge that his energy has been a big part of making Whitefish and the whole realm of the Winter Carnival a very special and unique place.
Happy trails Rick. You are a prince, a prime, a Hark, a King, a shining spark of the realm. Thank you.
Signed by numerous Whitefish Winter Carnival royalty, including:
Paul Coats, Ullr LX
Patricia Ryan, Queen of the Snows LX
Rochelle “Bee” Johnson Pryor Queen of the Snows L
Carlene Righetti, Queen of the Snows, XLIII, Duchess of Lark
Cathy Juno, Queen of the Snows, XLII
Kristin Tabor, Queen of the Snows XLI
Anita Welch Prime XLI and Queen of the Snows LVI
Jerrie Boksich Queen of the Snows LVII
Ray Boksich Ullr LVII
Bill Lepper Ullr XL
Bob Brown Ullr XXXVII
Martin Gilman Ullr XLVI
Mark Svennungsen Ullr LV
Nancy Svennungsen Queen of the Snows XVLIII
Misty Reed Scurlock Queen of the Snows XL
Kelly Kadlec Queen of the Snows XXXIII
Geoff Calaway Ullr LXIII
Lisa Calaway Queen of the Snows LXIII
Harry Brown Ullr LIV
Nancy Brown Queen of the Snows LIV
Scotty MacClaren Ullr LXI + LXII
Jim Stack, Ullr LI
Lisa Stack, Queen of the Snows LI
Charlie Abell Ullr XIX
Hal Bennett Ullr XXXI
Margaret and Jerry Johnson Ullr XXIV
Lin Akey Ullr LVI
Carol Atkinson Queen of the Snows LIII
Richard Atkinson Ullr LIII
Judy Gephart Queen of the Snows XLVI
Marcia Sheffels Queen of the Snows VI
Ralph Swanson Ullr XXXIV
Terri Muraoka Queen of the Snows XLIX
Allison Deaver Queen of the Snows XLVII
Ross Strauser Ullr LVIII
Sue Strauser Queen of the Snows LVIII
Myah Strauser Princess Freya LVIII
Jennifer McKeen Coyle Queen XVI and James Coyle
Stacy Isch Queen of the Snows XXXI
Sarah Fitzgerald Queen of the Snows XXXIX
Joe Basirico Ullr XLVII
Carol Erickson Queen of the Snows LII
Bart Erickson Ullr LII
Kristen Tabor Queen of the Snows XLI
Gayle MacClaren Queen of the Snows LXI +LXII
Lynn Hetrick Scalf Queen of the Snows IX
Susan Monroe Abell Queen of the Snows III
Holly Piazza Queen of the Snows XXXVI
Peggy Sue Amelon Queen of the Snows XLV