Donna Jeanne Rouse was born in Portland, Oregon October 24, 1933 to John and Dorothy Rouse and passed away February 20, 2021. She was the oldest of four children. Her family was transferred to Roseburg for around ten years until her father was transferred back to Portland by Shell Oil. During that time, she spent her grade school and part of high school years there. She was active in her church youth group. In 1949, after the transfer, she completed her high school years and graduated from Roosevelt High School. She was also active in the youth group at University Park Baptist Church.
After graduation, Donna went to work for Pacific NW Bell Telephone Company with some of her friends. At 21 she decided to join the US Navy (Waves). She had a clerical position after basic that took her to the East coast, then to Corpus Christi doing teletype. Much of what she worked on was confidential so she couldn’t divulge much to her family. When her tour was about to end, she had an opportunity to add a year to her service and go to Oahu, Hawaii. Not only did she enjoy that year of work, but had many days enjoying the island and her newly acquired friends. In 1959, she was honorably discharged. She then returned to Portland going back to the telephone company until her friends encouraged her to move to Des Moines, Iowa in 1962. Des Moines proved to be a place where she felt at home. She met a lady, Arlene LaValle, who also worked at the telephone company and they found an apartment together. After a few years, they went together and bought a home. Donna and Arlene owned the home until Arlene died in 2015. Donna worked for Northwestern Bell Telephone Company in Des Moines, Iowa until 1986 when she retired. She worked as a clerical assistant for in plant services, and was very friendly and enjoyed working with all the people. Donna’s house-mate, Arlene, had good friends in Des Moines, the Sullivan’s, who also worked for Northwestern Bell. She spent time with them over the years enjoying their friendship and sharing many holidays together. After Patty Sullivan’s husband passed away, they enjoyed many trips together.
Donna had received Jesus as her Lord and Savior as a young person and was baptized, but later in her life had rededicated her life to the Lord. She loved her Lord and Savior. Donna, Arlene, and the Sullivan’s were members of First Federated Church for many years where Donna participated in many church activities. More recently due to distance, Donna joined Grace Church and especially enjoyed The Bible studies, the Sunday School Class, and the once-a-year Missions Conference. She lived in her home on SW second street in Des Moines for 50 plus years and had many wonderful neighbors and friends most of whom had lived in the area for many years also. Neighbors to the side, the Deets’, would look after Donna and their daughter and son-in-law would trim bushes and remove snow when needed. Behind her home the Hugley’s, were also dear to her and also went to First Federated Church. Donna and Arlene enjoyed yardwork and gardening and enjoyed many Pomeranians over the years. Scooter was her last and most beloved dog.
In spring 2020, she was finding it more difficult maintaining her home. After several falls and a hospitalization, she and her sister, Carolyn, made a decision to move her to the Portland, Oregon area to be closer to family. The Hugley’s helped her sell furniture on the web and the Van Cleves’ brought men in to load the truck and fed and housed us for the night before we left. Carolyn and Donna drove back to Oregon in the Camry and Ron, Carolyn’s husband, drove the Penske truck, to bring her household goods to Oregon. The four-day, trip, was especially fun for us, her, and the weather and scenery were beautiful. She lived in Homewood Heights Assisted Living facility in Milwaukie, a suburb of Portland. Because of Covid 19 limitations, we were only able to visit her in a small area between the outside doors and the entrance to the main building. We definitely took advantage of her medical appointments as that was the only other time we could be physically together. She enjoyed her one-bedroom apartment with windows on the South and West sides. She met many wonderful people there. Even though they were confined to the building, they were able to do crafts, play games and check out books from the Oregon City Library through one of the residents. Donna was an avid reader so that worked out well. They would also take the residents out for bus rides around the area for a few hours each week. They had a party for her birthday which she enjoyed. The residents were able to eat together at Thanksgiving and Christmas for the first time since she arrived. All meals prior were served to them in their rooms. She especially enjoyed church; watching John MacArthur, John Hagee, and David Jeremiah as well as others on Sundays.
Due to a devastating ice storm in Milwaukie and most of the Portland area and lack of power for a week, on February 14th Donna became ill and was taken to the hospital. Due to a weakened heart and age, she went into a coma and passed on February 20th. We will miss her terribly.
She is survived by her sister, Carolyn Began and husband, Ron; brother, Stephen Rouse and wife, Melody; six nephews; two nieces and their spouses; and many great nephews and nieces. She was preceded in death by her brother, William (Bill) Rouse.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests a memorial contribution to:
Grace Church Memorial Gift for Missions
Attn: Kim Jarrell
4200 E. 25th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50317
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