Donna J. Watters

Donna J. Watters

Donna J. (LaBarge) Watters, 79, of rural Platteville, Wisconsin, died on Monday, January 13, 2020, peacefully at home.

Per Donna’s wishes, there will be a private funeral held at the Melby Funeral Home & Crematory, Platteville. Burial will be at Whig Cemetery. Online condolences may be made at

Donna was born on March 6, 1940 in Newton, Iowa, daughter of Wilson and Cecil (Dobson) Udelhoven. She was approximately 3 years old when her parents moved to farm in Platteville, Wisconsin. She enjoyed growing up and working on the farm with many animals, always being there to help her parents when needed. She enjoyed riding her bike to the Bunker Hill Cheese Factory to eat fresh cheese curds. Donna attended two rural country schools, White School and the Bunker Hill School where she finished eighth grade and graduated from Platteville High School in 1958. She worked as a receptionist for Doctors James and John Thulin in Platteville. She was a member of the Whig United Methodist Church, rural Platteville, since 1966.

Donna was united in marriage to Melvin Watters on September 6, 1980 at the Platteville United Methodist Church. He preceded her in death on December 16, 1994.

Donna stared a nonprofit organization called “The Partners Advocacy” in October 1996. The purpose of this was to help others with mental health problems to find the appropriate agencies needed to get them on the Road to Recovery. Being an advocate involved many volunteer members working countless hours, which also helped in her own recovery.

Donna enjoyed being with her sons and families, be it helping them with a project or for a family get together; she always enjoyed babysitting the grandchildren and watching them grow up. She liked spending time with friends, dancing, riding horses, sewing, crocheting, knitting, gardening, growing flowers, collecting angels, and helping others. She greatly loved being outside working in the yard and enjoying the great outdoors.

Donna is survived by two sons, Scott (Pam) LaBarge and Rodney LaBarge; four grandchildren, Steven (Jessica) LaBarge, Sarah LaBarge, Jordan Shae (Savnnah) Faherty, and Cecelia LaBarge; one step-daughter, Melody (Watters) Mayne; five step-grandchildren, Leilani, Leah, Thomas, Maggie, and Colton; two sisters, Verla Engelke and Carlotte Lagman, by caring and friendship.

She was preceded in death by her parents; beloved husband, Mel; son, Barry LaBarge; two grandchildren, Cord and Gavin LaBarge; grandparents; and many aunts and uncles.