Donna Jean Martin

Donna Jean Martin died in her sleep on Dec. 14th 2018.  A graveside service is planned for the spring. Donna was born in Pendleton, OR on November 8th, 1933 to Mabel and Warren Williams.  She married Eldon Earl Martin in Walla Walla, Washington in 1949. Eldon worked as a ranch and rodeo hand. He would work and brand cattle at his cousin’s ranch.  On their property, they had a horse called Dusty who did not like Donna and would bump her in the back when she went to go get water.

Later Eldon and Donna moved to live with Eldon’s father Donna was pregnant.  She had her sons Bruce and then Brian. The family would go to the rodeos on weekends where the boys got very dirty.  She stopped taking the boys when Bruce started to climb the fences.

Eldon planned to take a job in Alaska. In preparation, the family rented out their home and moved in with Donna’s aunt Virginia who lived in Spokane.  They planned to stay there only until the pass cleared and allowed them to travel to Alaska. However, before that could happen, they received a call that the job had been canceled. They had stayed with Virginia for three months and needed to move out, but their own home was still be rented out.  Eldon, Donna and the boys moved in with Eldon’s father until the renters moved out.

Eldon and Donna’s visit to Spokane inspired them to move there permanently. They found a home in town on Rowan Street. By this time the couple had four children Bruce, Brian, Karla, and Brad. From there the family would then move to a ranch that was too isolated for Donna and they finally bought their home in Deer Park where they raised their children and Donna stayed there until shortly before she died.  

She worked as a Postal Route Carrier for Deer Park Post Office for a number of her years until she retired.  She loved WinterFest, Bingo, the Casino, and her family. She was a force to be reckoned with which helped her through her life as she was raising four children, buried a husband, buried a daughter, and survived a bout with cancer.  She had a number of years with her partner, Don Hendrickson, after Eldon died. She kept track of all her grand, great-grand, and great-great-grandbabies on list taped to the inside of her kitchen cabinet. Family was important to her and she had high expectations of those she loved.  She was not afraid to tell you what she thought and did not pull punches. She taught those around her how to be tough but loving. She will be missed and not soon forgotten.

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