Donna Eckhart

Donna Eckhart


eckhart pic for obit and hairDonna J. Eckhart of Edmond, OK passed away December 8, 2012 after an automobile accident. She was born on January 17, 1931 to William and Martha Johnson in Detroit, MI. Donna was raised in Highland Park, Michigan 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 5 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, CA; daughter Gale Mills and husband Robin of Barnsdall, OK; son Kevin Eckhart and wife Marilee of Portsmouth, NH; son Scot Eckhart and wife Dawn of Edmond, OK; and son Franklin Jr. and wife Karen of Houston, TX. She is also survived by grandchildren Trevor and Lauren Eckhart of Santa Barbara, CA; Benjamin Mills of Barnsdall, OK; Nathan and Reid Eckhart of Portsmouth, NH; Bradford, Bayley and Andrew Eckhart of Edmond, OK; and Kathryn, Karoline and Keilah Eckhart of Houston, TX.

The family will accept visitors at Matthews Funeral Home in Edmond, OK from 6:00 PM through 8:00 PM on Sunday, December 16th.

Services will be held 10:00 a.m. Monday, December 17that the Memorial Road Church of Christ in Edmond, OK with Interment at Rose Hill Burial Park in Oklahoma City, OK.

Services are under the direction of Matthews Funeral Home in Edmond, OK. 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.

14 thoughts on “Donna Eckhart”

  1. Brenda Matlock

    I am personal friends with her daughter Gale. I know she will miss her mother. I am praying for the family.

  2. Colleen Ellstron Walker

    I worked with Donna at the Oklahoma State Department of health and had great admiration for her. She exhibited competence in her profession but moreover was a person of high integrity and character. I am very sorry that we have lost Donna and offer condolences to the Eckhart family .

  3. Cindy Griffith

    Gale and other family members,
    I am sorry for your loss and pray that you will find comfort and God’s presence with you during this time of sorrow. You will be in my prayers.

  4. Janice Cranor

    Gale our heart breaks for your loss. A mother’s love is so dear to each of her children but the special bond experienced by a mother and daughter I fully understand and I am so saddened that you have lost your very best advocate and “cheerleader”. I know you are trying to help your Dad and brothers and their families at this difficult time. I love you and pray that your heart will someday feel peace and know that she will be watching over you from heaven.

  5. Gale,
    I am so sorry about the loss of your mother. I will continue to remember you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

  6. Pamela Rollins

    What a wonderful wife, mother, friend, and colleague. Donna was a colleague and mentor as we worked together at the Oklahoma State Department of Health for many years. My prayers are with your family for peace and healing.

  7. As Brian’s, sister-in-law, my husband Tom and I send our deepest sympathy’s to the Eckhart Family and Friends. Our prayers are with all of you at this time and always.

  8. Donna and I commuted from Stillwater to our jobs at the Oklahoma State Department of Health in Oklahoma City. She was such a warm, genuine person with such enthusiasm for life and love for her family. I have to smile when I remember the many hours we spent on our drives laughing, telling stories and solving the world’s problems. My heart goes out to her family. She is irreplaceable.

  9. Bill & Barbara Kahn

    As Brian’s, mother-in-law, my husband Bill & I send our deepest sympathy’s to the Eckhart Family & Friends. Our prayers are with you at this time & always.

  10. Suzanna Dooley

    My first opportunity to know Donna was as one of her nursing students at Oklahoma Baptist University. Some years later, I was fortunate enough to have Donna in my life again but from a different perspective – as a friend and colleague at the Oklahoma State Department of Health. Donna was a positive role model and influence not only for me but for many nurses and nurse practitioners in Oklahoma.

  11. Rachel and Tony Cai

    We have known Donna and Frank for over 20 years. When we heard the sad news, we were totally shocked and simply could not believe it. We send our deepest sympathies to the Frank and the Eckhart Family. Donna was a great and special friend. She was the kind of friend that stands by you when you need somebody to be there. Donna and Frank were just like parents to us, grandparents to our children. Donna indeed treated Rachel and I like her own children, and treated our children as her grandchildren.

    As international students who came to Stillwater, Oklahoma from China over 20 years ago, Donna helped us in many ways, and touched our lives in many aspects.

    Donna really treated us like family members. Donna also taught us more important things like the value of friendship and how to balance career and family.

    Donna had hundreds, if not thousands, friends like us from China, Taiwan, African, South American, Southeast Asia, Europe etc. She helped all of them so much and had played a unique and special role in all of their lives.

    It is impossible to put into words the importance of friendship and how much Donna meant to us. She positively influenced our life in so many ways and we will miss her with all of our hearts. Donna, we love you, thank you for your friendship, we will miss you forever and never forget all of the time we spent together. You have graced our life more than you will ever know.

  12. Saralyn Winn

    I had the opportunity to teach nursing with Donna at OBU. She was an exceptional teacher and co-worker. She was such a “LADY”. I haven’t seen Donna in many years, but I will always remember her.

    I have been praying for you – her family – since I heard of her unexpected death. I will keep you in my prayers in the coming days.

    Saralyn Winn

  13. Jan Campbell Bohannon

    I, too, worked with Donna at the Oklahoma State Department of Health. She was truly a dedicated professional who lived out her Christian beliefs.
    My life has been enriched and blessed because of Donna.
    My prayers go out to the family.

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