Donna Carol Ames was born at home in Saginaw, Michigan on September 10, 1932, to Alma and Forrest Ames. Donna spent the first few months of her life in a shoebox with a desk lamp as a makeshift incubator; she was only 1-1/2 pounds and not expected to survive. Donna was cared for by a kind neighbor, who was also a nurse, and defied all odds. This determined baby carried this can-do attitude into adulthood. Despite physical challenges, she learned to drive and worked as a switchboard operator in Saginaw for many years. She and her mother relocated to California to be near her sister in 1980. Donna passed away peacefully in her sleep on August 9, 2023.
Donna had one sibling, Jean (Ames) Redding, who was seven years her senior and preceded Donna in death. She leaves behind a nephew, Gary McConnell, and a niece, Pam Ellingson. She was a long-time member of Faith Lutheran Church, where her ashes will be interred. A small service will be held there on August 28, 2023.