Brian's Story

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Brian William Donat, 43, Goshen, died at 1:40 p.m. Sunday, June 4, at Elkhart Hospice House, after battling cancer for two years.
He was born April 25, 1974, in Goshen, to William and Brenda (Mishler) Donat.
He married Lynn Bontrager Feb. 29, 1992. They divorced in 2000.
On Aug. 11, 2001, he married Paula Bordeau.
Surviving are his wife, Paula, Goshen; two children, Stefan (Katie) Donat, Elkhart, and Madison Donat, Goshen; mother, Brenda Donat, Goshen; sister, Carrie Donat, New Paris; and maternal grandparents, Esther (Philip) Mishler, Goshen.
Preceding him in death are his father, William, and paternal grandparents, Eugene and Gwendolyn Donat.
Brian grew up in Syracuse and attended Wawasee Schools. His family moved to Goshen while he was in high school and he graduated in 1992.
After graduation, he enlisted in the Air Force where he trained in electronics and technology. He attended Community College of the Air Force to earn credits toward an associate's degree in applied sciences. After returning home, he attended Ivy Tech and later studied at Notre Dame.
He worked most of his professional life within many different segments of the RV industry, including going overseas and starting up a new business of redesigned RVs in England. Always the entrepreneur, he also started RV Innovators to match RV dealers with future RV owners. He founded and owned The White Box, an online website graphics design service. Lately, he had partnered with friends on a project in Haiti where he designed and started the building of an oceanfront resort. When the resort opens, a foundation will be established so that a large share of the profits will go to help Haitian children and the local schools. Most recently, he was employed as a commercial lines account executive at Kemner-Iott Agency, Cassopolis, Michigan.
Brian attended Nappanee Missionary Church.
Even during the past two years of his illness, Brian worked when he could, using his knowledge and engineering skills to assist companies with design, layout and advice.
Brian was a good friend to many and was very much family-oriented. He especially loved not only his own children, but his nieces and nephews and was always available to help them if they were ever in need. He loved the lake life and fishing was his getaway when he wanted to relax. There are no words to express how much this young man will be missed by his family and close friends.
A memorial gathering will take place from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 6, at Rieth-Rohrer-Ehret Funeral Home, 311 S. Main St., Goshen.
There will be one hour of visitation prior to the 11 a.m. memorial service Wednesday, June 7, also at the funeral home. Pastor Lee Compson of Milford First Brethren Church will officiate.
Burial will take place at West Goshen Cemetery at a later date.
Memorial contributions may be directed to New Paris First Brethren Church and Elkhart Hospice House.
Online condolences may be offered at rrefh.com.
Published on June 6, 2017
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