Donna V. Mitchell, age 82, of McHenry, passed away Tuesday, July 14, 2015, at her home, surrounded by her loving family.
Born February 20, 1933 in Elkhart, IN to Alexander and Veronica (Galarowicz) MacLean, Donna was raised with her twin brother and other siblings in Dover, Ohio and later Chicago. She married William James Mitchell Jr. in 1951, and they lived in Chicago. In 1971, they moved to Sunnyside, where William was employed as a pipefitter and Donna worked as a full-time school bus driver for Districts 15 and 156 in McHenry.
Donna’s career path took her to law enforcement for the Village of Sunnyside, where she served as police chief for eight years. After her stint in law enforcement, Donna returned to the school district as bus driver, where she enjoyed a career totaling over 30 years of service.
Enjoyments included playing bingo, doing pencil drawings, and most of all, being a doting grandmother and great-grandmother.
Donna endured a heartache for most of her lifetime when her twin brother, Cpl. Donald MacLean, went missing in action on Dec. 22, 1950 during the Korean War and was declared to be presumed dead on Dec. 31, 1953. Despite many contacts to the military over 60 years, Donna heard nothing on the fate of her brother’s remains, and thought she never would know. After many scientific advances, early in 2013 Donna was contacted by the U.S. Army stating that her brother had been positively identified. Donna, as his nearest living next of kin, was comforted when her brother was returned home by the U.S. Army and laid to rest at Windridge Memorial Park on August 31, 2013. She was interviewed by many Chicagoland stations covering her brother’s return home.
She is survived by five children, Donna “Cathie” (Arthur) Keefer, Rikki (Lisa) Mitchell, Karen (James) Walker, William (Mandy) Mitchell, and Steven (Carol) Kohon; 18 grandchildren, Vern Keefer, Tim (Kim) Keefer, Tom (Mandy) Keefer, Michelle (Darren Culvey) Lender, Tammy (Ken) Peltier, Jennifer (Randall) Busack, Melisa Fenske, Angie (Tani) Ojeda, Jacquelinn (Frank Visconti) Mitchell, Yavon Walker, Jimi Walker, William Mitchell IV, Alexander Mitchell, Alexis Mitchell, Jessica Mitchell and Riley Mitchell; and many great-grandchildren who called her GG.
In addition to her parents, Donna was preceded in death by her husband, William James Mitchell Jr. in 1983; her twin brother, Donald and her other brothers, Earl, James, Peter, Frank and Gerald MacLean; and her sisters, June Viverito, Loretta Anderson, and Veronica Forstrom.
Visitation will be from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. Monday, July 20, 2015, at Justen Funeral Home & Crematory, 3700 Charles J. Miller Road, McHenry, IL 60050. The funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday in the funeral home. Interment will be in Windridge Memorial Park, Cary.
Her family suggests memorials be made to the JourneyCare Foundation, 405 Lake Zurich Road, Barrington, IL 60010.
For information, please call the funeral home at 815-385-2400, or visit www.justenfh.com, where friends may leave an on-line condolence message for her family.