Obituary for Donna Jean Hedinger (Howk)
Donna Jean Hedinger passed away Friday, October 27, 2017, at her home in Portland surrounded by loved ones.
She was born on May 13, 1937 in Des Moines, Iowa, the fifth child and long awaited only daughter of Granville H. and Zelma C. Howk. In 1939, at the age of 2, Donna was crowned First Girl at the Iowa State Fair Healthy Baby Championship. She attended North High School in Des Moines, graduating in 1955.
On August 25, 1957, Donna married her high school sweetheart, Fredric R. (Ron) Hedinger, at Christ E.U.B. Church in Des Moines. Over their 60 years of marriage they lived in many wonderful and exotic places. In their early marriage, Donna kept home in Georgia, Oklahoma, Texas, Pennsylvania, Nebraska and Missouri while Ron served in the Air Force for eight years. After that, moving slowed down with longer residences in Coralville, Iowa, Euclid, Ohio, Chatham, Illinois, Springfield, Illinois, Hot Springs Village, Arkansas, and Portland Oregon. Along the way they were blessed with three sons, three daughters-in-law, nine grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.
Donna graduated from Drake University in Des Moines with a BA in Sociology, and from Sangamon State University in Springfield, Illinois with an MS in Human Development Counseling. While living in Central Illinois, Donna worked as a social service consultant to nursing homes and a hospital and as a weight loss counselor. She served as the village clerk of Chatham for several years. She and Ron also owned and operated a popular Cajun restaurant and art gallery, Tin Bill’s Gallery, in Chatham. Donna’s biggest accomplishment, however, was being mom to three wonderful and caring sons of whom she was extremely proud.
Over the years Donna and Ron also enjoyed traveling. Their travels took them by train throughout Canada, by the QE2 to England, and by plane for several extended visits to Israel. They also visited many places in the US, including New Orleans to gather Cajun recipes for their restaurant.
In 2000 they moved to Hot Springs Village, Arkansas, where they enjoyed each other, retirement, and warmer weather. In 2012 they relocated to Portland, Oregon to be near family.
Donna was a wonderful and inventive cook, a seasoned world traveler, a lover of cats, a sunshine and swimming pool enthusiast, an accomplished talker, and generally a fantastic person. She was greatly loved and will be greatly missed.
Donna is survived by her husband of 60 years, Ron, of Portland, Oregon; sons, Mark (Karen) Hedinger of Portland, Oregon, Stephen (Barbara) Hedinger of Chatham, Illinois, and Todd (AJ Morey) Hedinger of Harrisonburg, Virginia; grandchildren, Andrew (Abigail) Hedinger, Daniel (Nicole) Hedinger, Hallie Hedinger, Lucia Morey, Lydia (Matthew) Price, Hannah Hedinger, David (Sharon) Hedinger, Gabriel Morey and Grace Hedinger; great grandchildren, Evelyn, Caleb, Josiah, ZoeJane, Haven, Katherine, Malachi and Adam; sister-in-law, Valeria Near, and several nieces and nephews.
Following a family gathering, cremation services will be provided by Peake Funeral Chapel and internment will be at Willamette National Cemetery in Portland.