On Friday August 22, 2014 Donna joined her beloved parents Clifford and Marion (Nickasch) Lappen, and her sister Sandra Ann (Lappen) Babcock in the arms of the Lord above, after a short illness that she fought courageously. She passed gently and peacefully, surrounded by her closest family and friends.
Donna was born in Appleton on September 20, 1947, one year and one day after her sister. She attended high school in Kimberly and later enjoyed a full career at Presto Products. After a taste of retirement, Donna decided to go back to work and enjoyed a second career for a number of years at Bemis-Jason.
After retiring for good, she joined the Red Hat Society and thoroughly enjoyed the sisterhood, camaraderie and activities she found there with her best friend of 48 years, Darlene Schultz. She was an active member of the Foxy Red Hatters, The Scarlet Valaires, and a group of card playing Red Hatters. She will be truly missed by all of her fellow Red Hatters, and they considered her a wonderful friend.
She also enjoyed a long and blessed friendship with her other dearest friend, Marlene Hansen. Marelene will sing Donnas' chosen Hymn, “Just As I Am” during the service.
Donna considered herself blessed to be the mother of her son Gary L. Abendroth and loved any time she could spend with him and her nephews Scott and Randy Babcock, and grand-nephews Scott II, Joshua, Jacob and Kyle, whether at Bay Beach or a barbeque in the backyard, or a picnic at the park. She loved spoiling all of them when she could.
Donna was the World's Greatest Packer Fan. Period. During tense game moments she was known to walk away saying “My heart can't take this!” She loved Brett Favre and will be happy to find out he's going into the Hall and having his jersey retired next year.
Most of all, Donna loved. She loved life and all that came with it. Her family, her friends, her jobs, her cars, the ups, the downs, the joys of being young and the satisfaction of a nice, comfortable and active retirement. While she didn't like the struggles she had in later years, she never let them stop her. She accepted new limits as they came, but refused to stop living because, she loved life.
Donna was preceded in death by her father, mother, sister and many family members and friends that she held dear.
She is survived, and her memory will live on with her son Gary and his girlfriend Maria Meyer whom she loved dearly; her nephews, grand-nephews, her two best friends and several family members and friends who she always felt blessed to have as part of her life. Especially her aunt Lois Verkuilen, whom she always admired and counted on for the latest family news.
She was also a long time member of Grace Lutheran Church and loved her church and Pastor Judy Deckert deeply. She would feel honored to have Pastor Judy officiate her Memorial Service and interment.
A celebration of Donna's life will be held at 7:00 pm on Thursday August 28, 2014 at GRACE LUTHERAN CHURCH, 900 N. Mason Street in Appleton. Visitation and luncheon will be held at the Church from 4:00 pm until the service. Interment will be Friday August 29th at 9:00 am at Riverside Cemetery, Appleton, where she will be reunited with her parents and sister. Online condolences can be offered at www.wichmannfargo.com.
Donna's family and friends would like to thank the ICU Department staff at St. Elizabeth Hospital, where Donna was also born into this world, for all their help and working so hard for her and keeping them informed every step of the way.
The family also thanks Wichmann-Fargo Funeral Home for their exceptional assistance during this difficult time.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made and will be used to help the Wisconsin Lion's Camp to help parents of hearing impaired children learn sign language.