Donna Jean Gillispie passed away on June 27, 2019, in Fort Collins, Colo. She was 76 years old and passed away following a hard-fought battle with stomach cancer.
Donna was born in Algona, Iowa, on May 14, 1943, to William M. and Marion Knoll. Donna was raised on the family farm with her siblings. Donna married Roger Frink in 1962 and had two daughters, Tara and Shawna. Donna, Roger and the girls moved to Florida in 1968.
After divorcing Roger, Donna lived and worked in California and Colorado. She went on to remarry and divorce twice. In 1999 Donna moved to Fort Collins, Colo., to be closer to her daughters. Donna is survived by her daughters, Tara (Jim) Rogers of Windsor, Colo.; Shawna (Brian) Eckstine of Severance, Colo.; and granddaughters Nena, Sofia and Ava Eckstine of Severance, Colo. Donna is also survived by her mother, Marion Knoll of Algona; sister, Linda (Roger) Tjarks, of Titonka Iowa; sister, Sandy (Jerry) Sigmund of Canyon City, Colo.; brother, Richard (Laura) Knoll of Fenton, Iowa; sister, Laura (Harlan) Richter of Algona, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Donna was predeceased by her father, William M. Knoll.
Donna loved football and basketball. Her Sundays were consumed by watching NFL football. Her favorite teams included the Miami Dolphins and the Denver Broncos. She also enjoyed Iowa Hawkeyes football and basketball. Donna was an avid reader and would venture to the library regularly. Donna was especially close to her two daughters and three granddaughters; she loved her girls. Donna was a tough disciplinarian and a hard worker. She leaves behind many family members and lifelong friends. Those who knew her best, will miss her phone calls of “just checking in” or calling to say, “hello.” She will be missed by all who knew and loved her.
A celebration of life will be held in Fort Collins at a later date. Donna’s final resting place will be next to her father Bill, at the Burt Township Cemetery in Burt, Iowa. In lieu of flowers and other expressions of sympathy, please consider a donation in her name to the American Cancer Society at Cancer.org.