Donna J. Eckhart of Edmond, Okla., passed away Dec. 8, 2012, after an automobile accident. She was born on Jan. 17, 1931 to William and Martha Johnson in Detroit, Mich. Donna was raised in Highland Park, Mich., before attending the University of Michigan, graduating from their School of Nursing.
After meeting in college, she married Franklin F Eckhart on April 3, 1954. Their marriage endured for 58 years. They were blessed with five children: Brian, Gale, Kevin, Scot and Franklin Jr. After spending the first twenty years of marriage as a full-time wife and mother, she returned to school and received her Master’s degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Nursing. She also received her certification as Pediatric Nurse Practitioner.
Donna then returned to the work force as a faculty member in Nursing at Oklahoma Baptist University, before moving on to work for the Oklahoma Department of Health and Human Services. She again returned to school, receiving her Doctoral degree in Higher Education from the Oklahoma State University School of Education. She then completed her professional career as the Dean of the School of Nursing at Southern Nazarene University.
Donna, along with Frank, was a tireless worker in the International Ministry at the Stillwater Church of Christ, she served on the church’s missions committee and personally took a mission trip to China and a medical mission trip to Papua, New Guinea. She and Frank were much loved by the Chinese student community at Oklahoma State.
Donna loved to travel, enjoying time with family and indulging her grandchildren. There was no family event too small or insignificant for her to not want to attend or be a part of. As an example of their love of travel and family, Donna and Frank arranged and paid for a family Caribbean Disney Cruise (including children and grandchildren) and later, a trip to Hawaii.
She is survived by her husband, Franklin, son Brian Eckhart and wife Jean of Santa Barbara, Calif.; daughter Gale Mills and husband Robin of Barnsdall, Okla.; son Kevin Eckhart and wife Marilee of Portsmouth, NH; son Scot Eckhart and wife Dawn of Edmond, Okla.; and son Franklin Jr. and wife Karen of Houston, Texas. She is also survived by grandchildren Trevor and Lauren Eckhart of Santa Barbara, Calif.; Benjamin Mills of Barnsdall, Okla.; Nathan and Reid Eckhart of Portsmouth, NH; Bradford, Bayley and Andrew Eckhart of Edmond, Okla.; and Kathryn, Karoline and Keilah Eckhart of Houston, Texas.
The family will accept visitors at Matthews Funeral Home in Edmond, Okla., from 6 p.m. through 8 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 16.
Services will be held 10:00 a.m. Monday, Dec. 17 at the Memorial Road Church of Christ in Edmond, Okla., with Interment at Rose Hill Burial Park in Oklahoma City, Okla.
Services are under the direction of Matthews Funeral Home in Edmond, Okla. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Memorial Road Church of Christ, 2221 E. Memorial Rd., Edmond, OK 73013 in memory of Donna for Christian Nursing Education.
Condolences may be emailed to matthewsfuneralhome.com