Donna was born on September 13, 1928, to Malta and Laura (Thorson) Jacobson of Wallingford, Iowa. She went to school in Wallingford graduating from Estherville High School. She then attended Grinnell College and Iowa State University where she graduated with a BS in Education. She married Richard (Dick) Starkey in September 1950. They had two children, Carole and Roger, and made their home in Minnesota, where they farmed 400 acres outside of Ceylon. Dick’s untimely death in 1961 led Donna to return to college to receive her teaching credentials, and a job teaching Home Economics in Burbank, CA. so off to California she and the kids went. After raising her two children and teaching /counseling at Madison Middle School in North Hollywood for many years, she remarried. She married John Haeckel of Fairmont, MN, who was a widower with three sons, Rodney, Gary and James. She and John made their home in Burbank. Donna continued her counseling work at Madison Middle School and John worked at Valley National Bank in Burbank. Donna retired in 1989. She spent her remaining years doing what she loved - gardening, cooking, knitting caps for newborns at various hospitals and going to garage sales with John. She succumbed to cancer on Aug. 8, 2013 after a hard fought battle.
She was preceded in death by her parents Malta and Laura, her first husband Dick, and her second husband John.
She is survived by her daughter, Carole Ivey (Randy), her son Roger Starkey (Teresa), her three stepsons, Rodney Haeckel (Bev), Gary Haeckel (Grace) and James Haeckel (Linda). She is also survived by her grandchildren Travis Ivey (Christine), Megan Ivey, Michelle Eyman (Zach), Cheryl Wolfe (Michael), Roger Starkey Jr, Jessica Annis (Rod), Justin Haeckel (Lauren), Katie Haeckel, Kari Lawrence, Kory Lawrence (Jennifer), Jill Haeckel, Jayme Haeckel and Jenna Haeckel. There are also eight great-grandchildren. Will and Sam Annis, River Haeckel, Makenna Ivey, Gavin Ivey, Johnny Drew Wolfe, Lena Lee Eyman, and Heather Haeckel.
She is also survived by her sister, Karen Jacobson of Mesa, AZ and one cousin, Charles Waldee of Mesa, AZ.
She was our rock and will be truly missed by all who knew her.
It was our mother’s request that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent in her name to any Shriner’s Children’s Hospital. This was her favorite charity and that of her father and her husband Dick Starkey, who were Shriners. They all believed strongly in the work the Shriners do for children.Copyright © 2015, CT Now