Donna J. Walker, 75, of Clear Lake, died Tuesday, March 6, 2012, at the I.O.O.F. Home, Mason City, Iowa from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. A celebration of her life will be held 11 a.m., Monday, March 19, at First Congregational Church, 205 W. 10th Ave N., Clear Lake, with the Rev. Brad Thornton officiating. Family will greet friends one hour before the service at the church.
Donna was born in Waterloo, Iowa on Dec. 28, 1936, the daughter of Joseph W. and Katrine (Olesen) Schumann. She attended the Waterloo public schools and graduated from West High School in 1954. She attended the University of Iowa for two and one-half years and was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority.
Donna was married to Charles J. Walker at Trinity Lutheran Church, Waterloo on March 23, 1957. She accompanied her husband while he served two years in the U.S. Army. Following his service they lived in Waterloo and Ames, Iowa. When their three sons were all in school she resumed her education at Iowa State University. Donna graduated from ISU in 1970 receiving the degree “Bachelor of Science with Distinction in Elementary Education.” She was on the dean’s list and was a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honorary Society because of her high academic standing.
In 1970 the family moved to Fort Madison, Iowa. Donna taught first grade in the Fort Madison schools from 1971 to 1990. She delighted in teaching young children and had the ability to see the world through her students’ eyes. She was particularly skilled in helping first graders learn to read. Donna received numerous awards and recognition for her professional dedication and love of teaching. She was honored as Teacher of the Year for 1981-1982.
In 1990 Donna and Charles moved to Clear Lake and built their retirement home. She was an associate teacher at Sunset School for six years. Donna and her husband shared a common interest in prairie restoration. They spent countless hours working side by side restoring prairie on land they owned. Throughout her life she exuded great enthusiasm for every project or cause that captured her interest. Donna was a 50-year member of P.E.O. and a member of the First Congregational Church, Clear Lake.
Donna has donated her body to the Mayo Clinic for medical research. Donna is survived by her husband, Charles, Clear Lake; two sons, David (Elizabeth) Walker, Village of Lakewood, Ill. and Kenneth (Georgeann) Walker, Winfield, Ill.; five grandchildren, Ian Walker, Natalie Walker, Katrine Walker, Claire Walker and Lindsey Walker; her sister, Joan Broshar, Phoenix, Az., and former daughter-in-law, Shawn Walker, Downers Grove, Ill.
She was preceded in death by her youngest son, Andrew, and her parents.
Memorials may be directed in her honor to the Clear Lake Community School Foundation, P.O. Box 227, Clear Lake, IA 50428 or the Mayo Clinic Department of Development, 200 1st St. SW, Rochester, MN 55905 for Alzheimer’s disease research.
Donna Walker was an amazing lady. Her infectious smile and loving manner will be greatly missed by family and friends.
Ward-Van Slyke Colonial Chapel, Clear Lake, was in charge of arrangements.