Donna Grace Gorder
June 11, 1921 – May 7, 2018
Donna Grace Gorder was born June 11, 1921, in Grafton, North Dakota, close to the Canadian border. She was the 7th and youngest child of a large farm family. She was educated in Grafton Schools, graduating from high school May 29, 1939. She then enrolled in the University of Minnesota, spending three years there. However, she soon followed her sister Gen to Seattle, and transferred to the University of Washington where she completed her degrees.
Donna loved people and science and became a medical research technician, first being employed by the US Veterans Hospital on Beacon Hill and then for many years at the University of Washington Research Hospital and Labs until retirement in 1987. During that time, she became acquainted and assisted many prominent medical researchers at the UW. She was proud to point out her involvement in many new techniques and procedures.
Donna and her sister Genevieve shared a home in Madison Park (McGilvra Blvd. E.) for their entire adult life (over 60 years) where they gardened, entertained friends, and enjoyed the Seattle urban life. Gen was a teacher for the blind, so they entertained people from both communities in their home and garden. They both enjoyed purchasing and wearing designer clothing of all types and then packed it away for safe-keeping. Their home was filled with an extremely large collection of vintage designer clothing, some of which was donated to the MOHAI and appears in their collections.
Donna was always interested in current affairs, faithfully attending City Club and lectures at the University of Washington. She was a life time member of the UW Alumni Association, and Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority. Donna was an avid Husky fan, particularly football, and she maintained season tickets for well over 55 yrs, attending games until she could no longer climb into the stands. When she suffered two different broken bones, she insisted on purple castes.
Donna was the keeper of the home and garden. Her garden always contained the latest plants and flowers, and she was proud of her roses. You could find her daily in her garden. She also had a succession of miniature white male poodles, which earned her familiarly in her neighborhood.
Her biggest pride for 60 years, was in her Christian faith and her membership in the University Lutheran Church. She was a faithful member of Worship and Music Committees, assisted in many programs, dinners, and celebrations of faith. For years she was a one-person telephone hot line for obtaining participants in Sunday morning services, and probably knew as many members as the pastor. The Gorder sisters hot baked rolls were coveted for Sunday morning Fellowship Hour.
The last seven years, she resided in the Foss Home and Village where she received the utmost care and love, for which we are very grateful. Donna transcended to her new garden in the sky on Monday, May 7, 2018, at nearly 97 yrs. of age.
She was born to Christian Olaf and Gertrude (Jennie) Loseth Gorder. She was preceded by brothers Cy, John, and Oliver, and sisters Lilian Rorschner, Lois Restemayer, and Genevieve Gorder. There are also several nieces and nephews. She is survived by her “very best and closest friend” Dr. John A. Wott. A private Memorial Service was held Friday, June 1, 2018, at 11:00 a.m. at Acacia Memorial Park and Funeral Home. Private interment preceded the service. Al Roehl, Spiritual Services Coordinator and Chaplain, Foss Home, conducted the services. Memorials may be given to the University Lutheran Church, or Elizabeth Gregory Home, both at 1604 NE 50th Street. Seattle, WA 98105.
- Memorial Service Friday, June 1, 2018
- Reception Friday, June 1, 2018
Donna Grace Gorder
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