Donna Fern Norelius, age 86, passed away on Thursday, May 4, 2017 at Swedish First Hill Medical Center in Seattle. She was born June 28, 1930 in Oroville, Washington to Edythe (Brockway) and Lewis Norelius.
Donna spent her early years in Oroville but the family moved to Seattle where she attended elementary school before the family moved again to Wenatchee where she attended high school. In February of 1946 Donna suffered a spinal issue which left her paralyzed from the waist down; a condition that would remain for the rest of her life. After graduating from high school, she attended business school and learned typing and shorthand. She put these skills to good use in a number of positions as an administrative assistant in San Francisco where she worked for Ampex and eventually in the Seattle area where she worked in the advertising industry.
She retired in Seattle in 1992 from Kraft Ehrig Advertising. In 1969 Donna fulfilled a long-time dream of designing her own home accommodating her disability of being wheel-chair bound. She and her sister’s (Barbara Jean) family built side-by-side houses in the Pike’s Peak area of Bellevue where she lived until 2008 when she moved to the Timber Ridge retirement community in Issaquah.
Donna loved music, learning to play the accordion and piano during her life, and was very fond of the 1940’s era music (strains of Frank Sinatra could often be heard through open windows of her home). She was also an excellent cook and was part of a group known as the Gourmet Girls.
Donna had numerous other interests as well including sewing, and a number of crafts which she pursued with an attention to detail that was very characteristic of Donna in everything she did. Donna was a truly amazing person with an engaging personality who, despite her disability, was full of life and always upbeat. She loved to be around people and was famous for her Ramos Fizz parties around the pool on Pike’s Peak.
Donna was the last surviving member of her siblings, E. Aileen Norelius (1927-1929), Lorraine Mercer (1918-2000), Barbara Jean Doolittle (1921-2003), and Marvin Norelius (1924-2016). Donna is survived by her seven nieces and five nephews and their children and grandchildren. Contributions in Donna’s memory can be made to hopelink.org, a favorite charity of hers working to end poverty in Washington.
Family, friends, and others whose lives were touched by Donna are invited to the Timber Ridge at Talus retirement community, 100 Timber Ridge Way, NW, Issaquah, Washington for a celebration of Donna’s life at 2 pm on Saturday, July 8, 2017.
Guestbook and more information at: acaciafuneralhome.com.