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Tribute to Winter Carnival legend Rick Donahue

| July 27, 2022 1:00 AM

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

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