Donna Jene ‘Metzie’ Mittelsteadt, 87, of Laurel, died of natural causes on Oct. 4, 2019, at St. Vincent Healthcare in Billings.
She was born Sept. 9, 1932, to George and Daisy Metzenberg in Ekalaka. The family later moved to Miles City, where she was raised and graduated from high school and cosmetology school.
From 1952 to 1955, Donna served in the U.S. Air Force, where her teammates on the women’s basketball team gave her the nickname ‘Metzie’—a play on her last name. She also worked for the VA and as a secretary for a colonel at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.
After her service in the armed forces, Metzie returned to Miles City, where she worked as a switchboard operator and met and married her first husband, Owen Stieg. They had one son, Mark.
After the couple divorced, Metzie continued to work in Miles City, where she met and married her second husband, Bruce McDonald. They moved to Laurel and had two daughters, Tina and Tammy.
In 1968, she married Duane Mittelsteadt at the Yellowstone County Courthouse. After their son, Sam, was born, the family of six moved to Missoula, where Metzie was a homemaker who enjoyed drawing, painting, baking, gardening and competing on singles and doubles recreational bowling leagues. When younger relatives moved to the Missoula area to attend college or otherwise strike out on their own, she could be counted on to provide them with love, support and home-cooked meals.
In 1983, the family moved to Laurel, which would be Metzie’s home for the rest of her life.
After Duane died in 2009, Metzie was able to stay in the family home for two years because of the committed assistance and care from her daughter Tammy and granddaughter, Angela Renik, both Billings residents. They also helped tremendously during her subsequent years at The Crossings, an assisted living facility in Laurel.
Metzie was preceded in death by her husband and three brothers, Ben, Ernie and Robert Metzenberg.
Survivors include son and daughter-in-law Mark Stieg and Francesca DeBelle-Stieg of Highlands Ranch, Colorado, and their children, Heather Skinner, Spencer Lehmann, and Ian and Ethan Stieg; daughter and son-in-law Tina and Erik Alpine of Golden, Colorado, and their son, Jared; daughter and son-in-law Tammy and Derek Menholt of Billings, and their children, Angela Renik and Payton and Caden Menholt; and son Sam Mittelsteadt of Phoenix; a sister, Kay Oehm of Omaha, Nebraska; and three great-grandchildren.
There will be a small family service as Metzie’s ashes are interred in the columbarium in the veterans section of Yellowstone National Cemetery in Laurel, near her husband’s grave.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in Metzie’s memory to Compassus Hospice, 2110 Overland Ave., Suite 111, Billings MT 59102.