Donna May Hochstetler
May 14, 1935 – July 13, 2021
Donna May Hochstetler died on July 13, 2021 in Virginia Beach. She was predeceased by her beloved husband of 37 years, Alan Ray Hochstetler.
Mrs. Hochstetler was born Dona Jean Long to Violet Mae and Roy Amos Long in Broadtop, PA on May 14, 1935. Roy Long was a coalminer, and there were six children. Life was difficult so it was necessary for the Longs to entrust their children to the State of Pennsylvania Welfare System. Dona Jean was taken from her birth family at 18 months of age and placed in foster care throughout the state of Pennsylvania until she was four years old. She was then adopted by Franz and Ruth Postpichal of Philadelphia. At that time, her name became Donna May Postpichal.
It was obvious to her new parents that Donna May exhibited a talent for the piano and she began to study at an early age, becoming an accomplished professional pianist. She also played the violin and viola, playing First Chair Viola in the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra. She graduated from Cheltenham High School in 1953. At Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ she studied Organ and Choral Conducting, graduating in 1957 with a degree in Sacred Music. She was a June bride, marrying Allan Wilber Kishpaugh. For over 40 years, she served in the Ministry of Music and as a Music Educator for students in grades K-12.
In 1981, Donna May married Alan Ray Hochstetler, and together they made a search for her birth family. Happily, the family was reunited after 45 years of separation.
Donna May sustained a back injury which forced her to give up playing the organ. She then chose to study to be a Stephen Leader, working with people in crisis. She was employed at Valley Hospital, Ridgewood, NJ as the Executive Secretary in the Pastoral Care Department until she retired in 1995 and moved to Williamsburg, VA. In Virginia, she worked as a Volunteer at the Williamsburg Community Hospital Gift Shop, and later as a Patient Advocate at the Chesapeake Regional Medical Center. She was a member of St. Stephen Lutheran Church.
Mrs. Hochstetler is predeceased by her birth parents, her adoptive parents, a birth brother, and three birth sisters. From her first marriage, there are four surviving children and four grandsons. Her children are Charles (Karen) Kishpaugh of Orleans, MA; Robert Kishpaugh and Dale Wannamaker of Lakeland, FL; Laura (Howard) Margolis of Apex, NC; Gwendolyn (Peter) Van Heest of Virginia Beach, VA; and her grandsons are Dr. David (Charming) Kishpaugh of Waltham, MA; Kevin Kishpaugh of Denver, CO; Corey and Tyler Van Heest of Virginia Beach, VA. Also surviving are her sister Dorothy Martin, an adopted brother Charles Postpichal, and nieces and nephews.
Nelsen Funeral Home is handling the arrangements. Donna May will be cremated and "A Service of Celebration" of her life will be held at St Stephen Lutheran Church, 612 Jamestown Road, Williamsburg on September 18 at 11:00AM.
Memorial Remembrances may be given to St. Stephen's Ministry to the Homeless.
A Service of Celebration
St. Stephen Lutheran Church
Donna May Hochstetler
July 17, 2021
Mom, I can't believe that you are gone...you were always supposed to be there, to guide me and to lift me up. But I know that to want you to stay would have been selfish. So I prayed for peace, for the Lord to take you softly and gently. And as painful as that is, I am comforted by knowing that you and Alan are reunited yet again. Music has always connected us and there is some pieces that I will never be able to listen to again without thinking of you. That is your gift to me and I will cherise it always. I will let you go but I do that with a heavy heart.....I love you.
Gwen Van Heest
July 17, 2021
Your support over the years was unwavering even during my darkest times. For that I will be eternally grateful. You showed me how to be the best mother I could be. I find comfort in knowing you are finally reunited with Alan and will live together eternally. I only hope I was able to provide you some comfort in your last days. My promise to Alan is now complete, you are now safely in his arms once again. I love you.
Your daughter, Gwen
July 17, 2021
May Donna’s family be joyful for her life well lived and comforted by their memories. I knew her for a short time but her love for Jesus and her family was immeasurable! We pray that your hearts heal quickly knowing she’s with her loved ones in Heaven and thank God for her.
July 16, 2021
To Gwen and family, Please accept my deepest sympathies on the loss of your Mom. May the precious memories of your Mom bring you comfort and knowing that others care and are praying for you help to ease the pain in this very difficult time. Sincerely, Dori