“An extraordinary being of light and grace.”
NDBA friend and colleague Donna Jean LaVan Hardt was 76 years old when she left this Earth the same way she entered; sweet, beautiful, and with open arms to love.
Donna started doing the weekend weather at KXMB-TV in Bismarck while raising two daughter to whom she was completely dedicated. Too shy for the camera, Donna knew that wasn’t the best fit for her. She found her fit as a television news photographer. She took on this new career with an innate ability to know exactly what to do – no school or training could teach her. She just knew.
When she moved over to KFYR–TV, it became her home for many decades. Donna’s career enabled her to cross paths from presidents to governors, movie stars and celebrities, farmers and ranchers, politicians and police, military and ministers, teachers and students, protests and parades. Celebrations and burials.
Yet she was star struck by no one. They were always just subjects that she wanted the world to see. Telling the stories through the eye of her skilled photography. And she was a true pioneer for women in this field. She taught and mentored many young women and men in the television news industry, who were just starting their own career paths.