Donna Jean Buckeye was born in Blue Earth County, Minnesota, the City of Le Seuer. She was the daughter of Ralph (Donald) Donaldson Buckeye and Betty Sullenger. It was the 30th of October, 1953. Donald had a son, Daniel living with them at the time, and Betty had a daughter, Laura living with them, both from previous marriages. Donald also had two daughters living with his previous wife, June. Don and Betty had two more children after Donna; a brother, Steven and a sister, Linda.
Donna moved with her family through Arizona to Washington State, where she grew up in various suburbs of Seattle. When she was in the 10th Grade at Mount Lake Terrace, Washington, she met Rick Northup. He was in the Siding business. They quickly fell in love and were married on October 4th, 1969; less than a month before Donna's 16th birthday. Rick soon decided he couldn't support a wife in Washington, and they moved back to Minnesota, where he went to work witrh Western Electric, a company he had been with previously in California. Rick and Donna had three children in five years before he was laid off in 1975. After that, they went into business for themselves, doing Janitorial work and Mobile Home additions and improvements. In 1977, they heard about the Nebish Store in Rural Puposky being up for sale and went in with two of Rick's siblings in the purchase of it. The moved up shortly after and began living above the store in very moderate conditions. Three more daughters soon followed while they were living there and building their log cabin on five acres of the Northup home place. Soon after moving out of the store, it burned to the ground without insurance. Donna's Father, Donald had died the previous Fall and they had some decisions to make. The first one turned out to be a mistake. They spent most of the inheritance money on a restaurant endeavor that soon failed. Almost immediately, Donna went to work waiting tables. It got to be a tough time for them. Rick started selling wholesale on the road and they managed to eke out a living in the difficult Northern Minnesota woods. During this time the seventh child was born at home. Donna had three of her children at home and attended many of the family's and friend's home births. She got to be well-respected around the neighborhood with her self-taught nursing experience.
Donna was asked by a family friend if she would be interested in spending some time doing adult daycare for their severely handi-capped son, Michael. She agreed and it turned out to be a decision that shaped her future. Soon she was doing daycare for Michael and his sister as well as a young autistic boy with many problems. She began nursing school at the Bemidji Vocational Technical Institute the same year their oldest daughter, Jeana did and they graduated together. Now, as an LPN, Donna could command a little more respect with the county and she began working pretty steadily as a Home Health Aide. The family now included seven children, although the oldest two had already left home. Larry, Jeana and Cheryl were born in Minneapolis between 1970 and 1973. Cynthia, April and Juliana were born during the store years from 1978 to 1982 and Joshua was born in 1991. They added to the house with the idea in mind of doing an Adult Daycare, but it never got off the ground.
Rick decided he wanted to get a better income and prepare for an eventual retirement, so he went back to Minneapolis to work for Lucent Technologies, the new name of the old company he had worked for in the past. They bought a home in 2001 and Donna and Josh moved down to join him. Donna had to drop her work with the Home Health care and Beltrami County but she picked up a lesser load in Anoka County after they got settled.
Rick and Donna are active in Cursillo and attend Evangelical Covenant Church of Anoka, Minnesota.
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Children of Rick Northup and Donna Buckeye