Gates, Kingsley & Gates Smith Salsbury Funeral Directors

4220 South Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City, CA


Donna Mitchell

November 8, 1948June 7, 2020

At 10:35 A.M., June 7th, a new angel ascended on high when Donna lost her brave fight against the COVID 19 virus and went home to be with the Lord.

Donna was born and lived most of her life in Culver City where she met her future husband, Lee, and raised her two children, Rick and Merri. Donna met Lee while still in high school and it was only a matter of days after laying eyes on him that she decided she would marry him. She was young and beautiful and had a way of getting her way on such matters. Not many moons after they started dating, they were a young married couple. Donna never regretted her decision. She found 53 ½ years of joy standing proudly beside her high school sweetheart, through thick and thin. She was a proud and dedicated homemaker who found her joy in supporting and serving her family and spending many years in community service. She served as president of the Middle School, High School and District PTA’s for the Culver City Unified School District. For six years Donna was the chairperson for the Culver City High School “All Night Graduation Party”, setting records for attendance at what had become a largely ignored event. She also served on the high school emergency preparedness committee and the scholarship committee.

In addition to the volunteer work Donna did for Culver City schools, she was also the Brownie and Girl Scout leader for her daughter’s troops. Her community service included directing the neighborhood program for earthquake preparedness and hosting Northgate Street’s annual block party.

One of her greatest and most treasured accomplishments was the establishment of a book club which, at the time of her passing, had read in excess of 200 books and had been active for over 20 years.

In her later years Donna became quite proficient at gardening and cooking, often including something from her garden in her meals. She loved preparing dishes that she had never cooked or eaten before when she entertained guests for dinner. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t, but it was always an adventure in her eyes.

Donna loved and served her family, friends and neighbors tirelessly and with joy and a selflessness so rare in this world today. She was mother to all of Rick and Merri’s friends, nieces and nephews, and all of the neighborhood kids. She made a loving and bountiful home for her children and welcomed all who came through her door. She was the hostess of all of her friend’s and family’s most cherished memories. The enduring love and strength she showed to her family and loved ones will continue to bless us forevermore. Donna Mitchell was truly a rare and precious gem on earth, unlike any other.

Donna leaves behind her husband of 53 years, Lee, and a son and daughter, Rick and Merri.


  • Visitation

    Thursday, July 2, 2020

  • Committal Service

    Thursday, July 2, 2020


Donna Mitchell

have a memory or condolence to add?

Amy & Megan S

July 5, 2020

We will always remember Donna as the fearless leader of our Girl Scout Troop. She was unflappable in the face of our group of (sometimes) unruly girls and she was always supportive of each of us.

Tom Horn

July 4, 2020

Donna was an icon in the Culver City community. She always had a smile to share.

She was well known for her volunteer work with the PTA and the All Night Grad Party providing a safe and fun event after the graduating seniors had dinner with their families. She really helped organize that event into a well oiled machine taking others along with her who volunteered with her.

Ellen Jansta

July 4, 2020

I have always loved you Donna and am praying for your loved ones at this time.
My mom and I are heartbroken, but mostly shocked.
I have known you, Donna, for nearly all of my life, and have always treasured your empathy, and loving & caring nature, ... There have always been so many things I admire about you...and your children, husband, & relationships.
By just being you, you taught me so many things. I can just picture each time we interacted, and your energy.
I love you, Donna. I will see you again. 💗

Roberta Sergant

July 3, 2020

My best friend. Gone too soon. Only good memories.

chuck eskridge

July 2, 2020

My Cousin Donna Jean was a wonderful person, - always cheerful. With all the medical problems she had to endure, she always had a smile and never a bad word. We will all miss her deeply. Lots of loving memories, - Chuck Eskridge

chuck eskridge

July 2, 2020

My Cousin Donna Jean was a wonderful person, - always cheerful. With all the medical problems she had to endure, she always had a smile and never a bad word. We will all miss her deeply. Lots of loving memories, - Chuck Eskridge

Steve and Marcie Schiff

June 29, 2020

Donna and I met almost 45 years ago when I was taking a walk around the block while pregnant with my third child. She shared that she was pregnant with her second child and due within days of my delivery date in May.

Donna called me from the hospital saying she had a baby girl and three days later I got to call her from the hospital with the same news. That was the start of a very special friendship for us.

Michelle and Merri played together, went all through school together and even dressed alike when they were young .

Donna was such a special , wonderful and
generous friend to all she knew and we will never forget her. Love, Marcie

Shawn Teager

June 27, 2020

I am proud to call her my Aunt Donna. From the age of about 4 to about 12 I was at my grandmothers house (which was the connected duplex to my aunt and uncle) everyday after school or while my parents worked. So, everyday I would end up over at my aunt Donna’s house helping her cook, she thought me how to bake, taught me about gardening, but most of all she taught me compassion, love, respecting everyone for who they are, and so much more. We also used to spend time going to make “Returns” or “visiting Merri at work” which was the code word she used to go shopping. These trips were filled with talk radio, talks about life, and of course shopping at her second home Nordstrom’s. I still think I was the only kid in middle school wearing silk Tommy Bahama shirts which at the time I didn’t realize what she was spending all I knew was I looked cool (like my uncle lee). From her kids, to my brothers, cousins, our children, and even the kids around the neighborhood there was NOTHING that would stop her from spoiling us and smothering us with love and affection. I could continue to go on about memories and the impact she made on all of us but I think we all know that her sole mission while with us was to make sure everyone felt loved, heard, understood, and was appreciated. I love her and miss her more than she knows and will forever keep her in my heart. ❤️

Barbara Brody

June 17, 2020

I’m so sorry to hear that Donna passed away.
I served on Council PTA when Donna was President that was so long ago. She was a wonderful mentor and a person I greatly admired.
Sending heartfelt condolences.
Barbara Brody