Donna Jeanne Hodgen Johns
December 2, 1923 — August 17, 2013
Donna Jeanne Hodgen Johns was born near Adams, Oregon on December 2, 1923. She was the youngest of ten children born to Fred and Elizabeth Binbander Hodgen. Donna passed away at the age of 89 on August 17, 2013 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Walla Walla, Washington, from complications of a fall.
A Celebration of Life service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, September 23, 2013 at the Athena Christian Church, 5th and Van Buren, Athena, OR. Interment will be at the Athena cemetery. A luncheon will be held at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 5th and College in Athena immediately following the service.
Donna grew up in Adams and attended Adams School as the only graduate in her 8th grade class. Donna was a cheerleader at Pendleton High School. After graduation in 1942, she worked at Frazier Book Store in Pendleton as their bookkeeper and during World War II worked at the Pendleton Airport where pilots were training for overseas duty.
On August 23, 1947, Donna married Maurice Roscoe Johns in Pendleton, Oregon. Nancy Jean and Robert Maurice soon joined the family. Donna, Maurice and Bob started Johns Ranch, Inc. in 1974 with Donna as the bookkeeper. She began cooking for farm workers only two weeks after she and Maurice were married. Donna was an avid supporter of Weston-McEwen sports teams being named Weston-McEwen’s No. 1 Fan. She was a staunch University of Oregon Duck fan, too, wearing her green and yellow each Saturday in the Fall. She was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary and was First Citizen of Athena in 1986. Donna also served on the Umatilla County Juvenile Advisory Board.
If there was ever a need in the community, especially if it involved youth, you could count on Donna being there to help with 4-H, FFA, blazers for the basketball team and many fundraising drives. She was a charter member of Girls Club which was founded 66 years ago.
Donna was a great cook and loved feeding people. She could handle a Round-Up party for 1000, a banquet for 500 or a wedding reception for 250 people. As the youngest of ten children, Donna was the caretaker of her family. Family meant everything to her with her nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great grandchildren at the top of her list.
Donna is survived by her daughter, Nancy, and son-in-law Dan Shawver of Eugene, OR. Son Bob and daughter-in-law Deborah Johns reside in Athena, Or. She is also survived by her grandchildren Jeffrey Irving (Tiana), Jason Irving (Kelly), Sara Iriving Odermann (Kyle), Lisa Irving Gregory (Justin0, Maurice Johns and Meghan Johns. Donna loved her great grandchildren Caden Irving, Isabella Irving, Braden Irving and Colin Gregory.
Donna was preceded in death by her husband, Maurice, her parents, and nine older brothers and sisters: Beryl Hodgen, Tuk Hodgen, Newt Hodgen, Margaret McEwen, Bill Hodgen, Jack Hodgen, Gilbert Hodgen, Mary Jane Sundby and Pete Hodgen. She was also preceded in death by nephews Tom Hodgen, Terry Sundby, Jack Hodgen and Brad Hodgen.
Memorials may be made to Athena-Weston Booster Club, The Watts Fund, East Umatilla County Health Service Ambulance or a local charity of your choice through Pendleton Pioneer Chapel located at 131 SE Byers Ave., Pendleton, OR 97801. Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.pioneerchapel.com