Donna Mitchell 1944-2015
Donna Mitchell, 70, of Owensboro, Ky., died Jan. 2, 2015, at Owensboro Health Regional Hospital after an extended battle with lung cancer.
She was born Feb. 13, 1944, in Lewisport, Ky., to the late Leymon and Lena Barbee Keown. Donna was also preceded in death by her twin brother, Donald Keown; sister, Helen Westerfield; and brothers, Truman, Charles and Jerry Keown.
Survivors include her husband, Jimmy Mitchell of Soldier; son, Michael Moshenek and his wife, Rebecca, and granddaughter, Katie Moshenek, all of Spartanburg, S.C.; sisters, Glendola Chafin of La Canada, Calif., Norma Ewan of Owensboro, Ky., Alberta McKinley of North Des Moines, Iowa, and Barbara Burdette of Louisville, Ky.; and brothers, Larry Keown of Gatesville, Texas, and Gary Keown of Henderson, Ky.
Donna led a life of variety, tenacity and service to others. After being divorced as a young mother, she supported herself and her son while also completing her bachelor’s degree in business. She worked for a number of years for Rockwell International on a variety of aerospace projects, but eventually made a late-in-life career decision to pursue nursing as an R.N.
After completing her nursing degree at the age of 50, Donna served as a travel nurse in locations as varied as Yale University and urban Washington, D.C. Her favorite assignment was working at a hospital in Saudi Arabia belonging to the Saudi National Guard. This assignment allowed her to travel the Middle East and southwest Asia.
Donna eventually became deeply committed to serving military members and veterans. She initially worked as a Department of the Army nurse at Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii, but finished her career as a Veterans Administration nurse in Tampa, Florida. It was this final assignment that cemented her desire to help veterans. At the time of her diagnosis, Donna had been working on a book that captured the life stories of veterans, but she was unable to complete this final effort due to her treatment.
Donna had always been a spiritual person but had moved closer to her original Baptist faith in recent years.
Services will be private, and she will be laid to rest in a family cemetery.
Expressions of sympathy may take the form of donations to the Wounded Warrior Project: woundedwarriorproject.org.
Online condolences may be left for the family at glennfuneralhome.com