Cover photo for Dona Lyn Freeman (Mullikin)'s Obituary
1930 Dona 2021

Dona Lyn Freeman (Mullikin)

December 5, 1930 — January 2, 2021

Dona Lyn Mullikin Freeman passed away on January 2, 2021 at the age of 90. Dona was born to David Mullikin and Iva “Jerry” Ellsworth Mullikin on December 5, 1930 in North Platte, Nebraska. Throughout her childhood, Dona was an avid dancer, baton twirler and acrobat. The Mullikins relocated to Montrose in 1946. The family owned and operated a restaurant, Mullikin’s Country Kitchen, out of their family home on Chipeta Road in Montrose, where Dona washed dishes. She attended Montrose County High School where she was active in dance and cheerleading. She graduated from Montrose County High School and served as Montrose’s Rodeo Queen in 1948. Dona married Joe Starbuck in 1949. To this marriage, three children were born; Diana, Harvey and Karen. The marriage ended in divorce. In 1957, Dona married her high school sweetheart, Richard “Dick” Freeman. Dona and Dick blended their two families to include Dick’s son Scott. To this marriage, two children were born, Terri and Greg. They made their home in the old Fairview schoolhouse on Kinikin Heights southeast of Montrose. Dick ran the family cattle operation and guided hunters in the fall while she wrangled the kids and maintained the household. They spent lots of time tending cattle between their ranch and the summer pastures of “Cow Camp”on the Big Cimarron. Dona worked as the History Editor at the Montrose Daily Press from 1985 to 1995 where dozens of her semi-monthly history pages were published. For her writings, Dona was recognized numerous times on a local and national level. Throughout the years, she authored six history books; “100 Years – Montrose Colorado”, “Montrose Fire Department – First 100 Years”, “Into The Valley They Came – The Blue and the Gray”, “Smith Ranch”, “Last Dollar Ranch” and “Curecanti Ranch”.  She enjoyed highlighting local history, genealogy, summer camping trips with her sisters, candle making, collecting antiques and making family memories. Dona had a great passion for her family and loved Christmases at the ranch.

She is survived by her sister Sharon Mullikin Morrison, daughter Diana Starbuck Soong, stepson Scott (Cindy) Freeman, son Harvey (Sheryl) Starbuck, daughter Karen Starbuck Dunlap (Rick), daughter Terri Freeman, and son Greg (Charlene) Freeman. Dona has 16 grandchildren, 27 great grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents David Mullikin and “Jerry” Mullikin Tokle, brother Noel, sister Jerry, brother David and husband Richard “Dick” Freeman.

A private graveside memorial will take place. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to:

Montrose County Historical Society

P.O Box 1882

Montrose, CO. 81402



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