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Donna Gene Schmitz

March 10, 1930 - April 10, 2016


Donna Gene Kay Schmitz passed away in Salem Oregon on April 10, 2016 after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s.  Donna was born on March 10, 1930 in Chicago, Illinois to William F. Kay and Lila M. Greene Kay.  Donna was an only child.  The little Kay family moved from Illinois in 1942 to California for a couple of years and then on to Oregon in the mid 1940’s.  Donna graduated from Colton High School in 1948.  She met and married Richard Dick Schmitz in 1949 in Molalla Oregon.  In 1951 they moved to Tillamook with a log truck to log the Tillamook Burn.  All four of their children were born at Tillamook County General Hospital.  Donna and Dick divorced in 1972 and she moved to Salem in 1973.

While in Tillamook, Donna was a mainly a homemaker, a member of the Tillamook United Methodist Church and was involved with the Parent Teacher’s Association PTA while her children were in school.  She worked for several years at Coast TV & Appliance.  After moving to Salem in 1973 Donna worked at the Hi-Ho Restaurant for almost 20 years and then worked as a food server for Costco until Alzheimer’s forced her to quit in 2007. She attended several local churches in Salem.  Donna loved to garden, travel, and walk in a park or on the beach with her dogs.  

Donna was cared for by her son David Schmitz until 2013 when the Alzheimer’s progressed to a point where David could no longer provide the needed 24 hour care.  In February 2013 Donna became a resident of Rosewood Court Memory Care in Salem where she remained until her death.  

Donna was preceded in death by her father in 1966 and her mother in 1995.

Donna is survived by her four children, Denis wife Helen Schmitz, Tillamook; Debbi husband Jerry Reeves, Tillamook; Diann husband Larry Nelson, Salem; and David Schmitz, Salem.  

Grandchildren:  Dena Werner Lemos husband Brian, Chris Werner wife Lisa, Jessica Blakely, Jason Blakely, Mary Schmitz, Ryan Schmitz wife MacKenzie, step-grandchildren, Wayne Lofton, and Angela Lofton Zuercher. 

Great Grandchildren: Ashlee Werner-Lemos, Hailey Lemos, Felicia Lemos, Edward Lemos, Tyler Werner, Natalee Werner, Natalie Zuercher, Mitchell Zuercher, Cera Blakely, Mackenzie Blakely, Colton Schmitz and Conner Schmitz.

Donna’s great-great grandson, James Micheal Guin was born in February 2016.

At Donna’s request there will be no funeral service. Virgil T. Golden Funeral Services in Salem will provide the cremation and Donna will be interned at Restlawn Memory Gardens in West Salem.  The family would request that any memorial donations be made to The Fisher Center for Alzheimer's Research Foundation, 110 East 42nd Street, 16th Floor, New York, NY 10017 www.alzinfo.org or to the Oregon Humane Society www.oregonhumane.org/donate.

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