From Jackie Hyman
Regrettably, I don’t have any photos of Donna, although I spent a lot of time with her. I doubt she would have willingly allowed herself to be photographed, as she was quite private.
At first, I knew Donna mainly as the regular volunteer photographer at RWA events. She went out of her way not only to memorialize everyone’s achievements but also to give me prints for my scrapbook, in that pre-digital age.
I feel strongly that fate meant for Donna and me to become friends. After she suffered a stroke at an RWA meeting, she was taken to Brea Community Hospital (which has since been torn down), only about a mile from my home. When I visited her, I discovered that her only family was her stepfather, who suffers from Alzheimer’s. I made a point of stopping in to see her daily, bringing books and offering moral support.
After she returned home, we began meeting for lunch at a Denny’s restaurant between our homes. It was always a joy to see her smiling face and hear about her writing, which she worked on very hard. Unfortunately, she didn’t dare submit it to publishers because, being disabled and dependent on Medicare, she couldn’t afford to earn money that might put her coverage at risk.
Even when she wasn’t well enough to attend RWA meetings, Donna maintained a deep interest in our doings and rooted for our members to succeed with their writing. Our group meant a great deal to her, and her generous spirit will remain with me always.
From Betty Dempsey
Donna and I met at an OC RWA meeting at the Fullerton library. We were both newbies and formed an instant bond.
Before we left that day we were in a critique group with Bronwyn Wolfe, Kay Bryant and Geeta Kakade.
We started meeting weekly at Geeta's place and Donna and I got to know each other well.
Our claim to fame , as a critique group was that we were all so happy when Bronwyn got published.
Besides the group, Donna and I discovered we were hooked on old movies and TV shows. We always called each other to share a piece of movie/TV trivia.
We shared a love of Chinese food. We were both Pisces with our birthdays just a couple of days apart.
I'm glad I knew Donna.
From Geeta Kakade
I got to know Donna through our critique group.
She was shy but once she got going, she would laugh and laugh...she had a great sense of humor. Writing was close to her heart and she created one of the best villians, I have ever read about. He was funny yet bad and we would all crack up over his latest 'crimes', each week.
We lost touch when the critique group stopped meeting. Luckily I got to meet Donna twice while she was in hospital. She kept talking of wanting to get out of the hospital bed and re-write her books and sell them.
I think somewhere in Heaven she's writing away...each book instantly published as she finishes it. Her halo gleams, her baby blues sparkle with the essence of well being, she giggles as she creates other villians like Toby. In her spare time, she searches for editors for the rest of us down here trying to connect us with our dreams.
It sounds like the beginning of a TV sitcom but that's the picture I want to hold of Donna in my heart.