Donna Robbins

Born in Urbana, IA
Born on Feb 9, 1930
Departed on Feb 16, 2021

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Donna Robbins, beloved mother, Nana and friend, died peacefully at home on February 16, 2021, surrounded by family and friends.

Donna was born on a farm near Urbana on Feb. 9th, 1930, the only child of C. Wayne and Amy Saunders. She graduated from Vinton High School in 1948. In April, 1949, she married Leroy Robbins. They farmed the Vinton-Urbana area, until Leroy was drafted into the U.S. Marine Corps in Dec. of 1951. Donna joined Leroy when he was stationed at El Toro Air Base and they lived in Southern California until his discharge in 1954.

They moved back to Iowa and started a family. Four children were born from this union, Greg (John), Chris (Sharon), Jeff (April) and Robyn (Ken). They later divorced and Donna rejoined the work force at that time.

Donna was employed at Rockwell Collins, then Weyerhaeuser Corp as an administrative assistant. She then went to National Oats, selling Bulk Oats, which she enjoyed tremendously. After a semi-retirement, she sold jewelry at Von Maur. 

Family was the most important thing in Donna’s life. She was a loving mother and taught her children the meaning of unconditional love. She sacrificed selflessly for her children. Donna was blessed with four grandchildren; Caitlin (Andy), Walker, Caleb and Noah. “Nana” doted on them and cherished every moment she spent with them. They could do no wrong in her eyes and she was so very proud of each of them.

Donna loved to travel. She visited many places through her sales trips with National Oats. After retiring, she went on annual trips with Chris and his family, along with Sharon’s mother, Lela. Donna and Lela became special travel buddies and they were always thrilled to go along. Favorite trips over the years included London, Florida, New York, Vermont, Colorado among others. She especially loved the beach and collecting seashells. A favorite saying was “”I hope you always have a shell in your pocket and sand in your shoes.” Great memories were made on each trip.

She was a strong, independent and stubborn woman. Those traits were especially important when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000. She fought that battle and won, with the help of the wonderful team at Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

Donna loved watching the Hawkeyes and the Cubs, and only had to wait 86 years to see her beloved Cubbies win a World Series.

Donna is survived by her children and grandchildren. Her memory will be cherished by them always. She also had great friends who will miss her, including Tony and Patti Cahill, Jerry Howe and Jackie Ramsey, among others. 

It was Donna’s desire to be cremated and she did not want a funeral service of any kind. Instead, she will be toasted many times by her family, and we ask that her friends do the same.

Special thanks to the staffs at Kindred at Home, Home Instead and Avalon Hospice for their care and support.  Amazing organizations that allowed her to remain at home throughout her recent health struggles.