With great sadness we announce the passing of Donna Elaine Lamkin on September 3, 2021. Donna was born in Reno Nevada, on July 29, 1939 to George and Gladys Whalen, the youngest of five siblings. In 1941 she moved to Sacramento with her family, attending elementary, middle, and high school. Donna is a graduate of Grant High School’s Class of 1957 – Go Pacers! At Grant she was a Song Leader and performed in several dramatic productions.
Several years after high school Donna met the love of her life, Claude Russell Lamkin, at a church dance. They were married in 1963, and lived in Rancho Cordova, Orangevale, and later, Citrus Heights, where she lived until her passing. Donna and Russ have four children – Brent (with daughter-in-law Diane) of Auburn, Janette (with son-in-law Jeffrey) of Citrus Heights, Cherie (with son-in-law Troy) of Camas Washington, and Debra of Citrus Heights. In addition to her four children, Donna has nine grandchildren – Rachel, Denya, Eric, Keira, Liam, Madisyn, Brennen, Conor, and Avery. She loved spending time with her grandchildren.
Donna was an endowed member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, in the Westwood Park Ward of the Antelope Stake. She enjoyed going to church, helping teach classes, and doing temple work with her sister-in-law; they would travel to the Sacramento Temple together. In her most recent calling she was the ward historian, helping compile an annual report of the happenings within the Westwood Park Ward.
After high school Donna attended American River College and entered the workforce as a civilian employee at McClellan Air Force Base working on several programs, including the F-111 fighter-bomber. She took time away from the workforce to start a family, but went back working for the California Division of Highways in their maintenance program for several years. She left the workforce again to continue raising her growing family, then when her children were older, she started a 10-year career in health care working as a Certified Nursing Assistant for a convalescent hospital in Roseville. Donna was recruited to be one of the inaugural employees at a new drug store in Carmichael named Price Less Drugs, where she worked for the next 18 years primarily as a Pharmaceutical Clerk. It was in this job that she really shined enjoying the interaction with, and helping, all of the customers that came in for their medications.
In addition to doting on her family, Donna was the epitome of a servant leader, always thinking of others before herself. When her son joined the Cub Scouts she became a Den Mother, and later volunteered as a Cub Roundtable Commissioner; Donna served in that capacity for many years, even after Brent had aged out as a Boy Scout. Coming back out of retirement from Scouting she served as an Assistant Den Leader in her late 70s. When her daughters joined Girl Scouts, so did Donna, as a Troop Leader for each. Donna volunteered with animal rescue and sanctuary organizations, helping to care for stray and abandoned cats. In her role as a Pharmaceutical Clerk it wasn’t just about the retail aspects; she genuinely cared about her customers, asking how they were doing and helping them far beyond her job requirements.
Donna was a wonderful person known especially for her kindness and generosity. Even when she might have disagreed with you, she was never disagreeable and always encouraged others to find their own path. Her radiant and quirky personality will be sorely missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing her.
Friends and family are invited to attend a Celebration of Life at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints building at 6450 Walerga Road, North Highlands, starting at 1:00 p.m., Friday, September 17, 2021, after a private family interment ceremony at the Sylvan Cemetery in Citrus Heights.
Given her love of animals, in-lieu of flowers, Donna’s family asks that you make a contribution to the Sacramento Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), the Sacramento County Animal Shelter, or a local shelter to help in the adoption and care of stray and abandoned pets.
To send flowers to Donna's family, please visit our floral store.