Donna was born on September 13, 1928, the first of two children of Malta and Laura (Thorson) Jacobson of Wallingford. She went to school in Wallingford and Graettinger, graduating from Estherville High School in 1946. Upon graduation, she attended Grinnell College for two years and then transferred to Iowa State University at Ames. Graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education. She married Richard (Dick) Starkey in September 1950. Dick went into the Army and they moved to Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., where their daughter, Carole was born in 1952. After his discharge from the Army, they moved to Minnesota where they farmed 400 acres outside of Ceylon. In 1954, their son, Roger was born. Donna kept busy with the children, helping Dick with the farm, doing arts and crafts and cooking. She loved to cook. She was also a member of the Merry Makers neighborhood club, the AAUW chapter in Fairmont, and the Order of the Eastern Star in Estherville. 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, Calif. 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, Minn., who was a widower with three sons, Rodney, Gary and James. She moved from Burbank back to Fairmont and resided there for 1 1/2 years. She, John and James then returned to Burbank in 1974. Donna resumed 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 to do - gardening, cooking, knitting caps for newborns at various hospitals and going to garage sales with John. She succumbed to cancer on 08/08/2013 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, Ariz., and one cousin, Charles Waldee of Mesa.
She was our rock and will be truly missed by all who knew her.
A family service will be held at Forest Lawn Cemetery, Hollywood Hills on 09/13/2013 (her birthday). 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.