Cover photo for Donna M. (Osborne) White's Obituary
Donna M. (Osborne) White Profile Photo
1935 Donna 2021

Donna M. (Osborne) White

October 3, 1935 — May 8, 2021

Donna M. (Osborne) White, 85, of Mechanicsburg, passed away on Saturday, May 8, 2021 at Carolyn Croxton Slane Hospice Residence, Harrisburg. The daughter of the late Gerald M. and Helen M. (Daisley) Osborne, she was born on October 3, 1935 in North Warren.

Donna was born and raised in Warren, PA. When she was a teen, she played the coronet in the Salvation Army Youth Street Corner Band. Donna also worked at the G.C. Murphy Luncheonette counter while attending Warren High School, where she graduated in 1954. Shortly after high school, she moved to Baltimore, working as a comptometrist at the Ben Franklin Administration Building, before meeting a handsome, honest, and faithful young man named Al. It didn’t take too long for the two to marry, and they moved to Mechanicsburg, PA to raise a family together. She settled into the role of homemaker as her family grew. As her children grew older, she worked as a cashier with both Jewelcor on the Carlisle Pike and Konhaus Grocery Store in the Windsor Park Shopping Center.

No matter the obstacles or decisions Donna faced, she always had her steadfast faith in God to get her through life’s challenges, nurtured by her grandmother, and Major and Mrs. Shaeffer of the Warren, PA Salvation Army. Donna and Al would raise their family at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Lemoyne. They began attending in 1959 and Donna was always an active member; she was Chairwoman of the Pastor Search Committee, Chairwoman of the Elders, and Co-Chair of the Church Board. Donna sang in the choir for more than 50 years, and she regularly participated in Christian Women’s Fellowship (CWF), where she attained the position of Southeast District Coordinator. She was extremely devoted to her church and church family.

Beyond her faith and strong work ethic, she always put others first and made sure her children had what they needed. She was a fantastic cook and was quite resourceful in the kitchen. Even when times were tight and options were limited, she always managed to creatively prepare evening meals and pack daily lunches for her kids. Being a housewife was no easy task with four young ones in the house, but she still found time to volunteer with their school activities and was a member of the PTA. Donna was also a comforter; she loved reading to her children (and then grandchildren and great-grandchildren), and gently singing to them while she would rub their backs. These motherly qualities drew others in as well, as many extended family members and friends would look to her for guidance and support, especially during hard times. She was a role model for her children, and especially the girls. She taught them how to be a good woman, a good wife, a positive member of society, and a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ. Donna was truly a mom and Nana for all seasons of her children and grandchildren’s lives.

She always did the right thing, whether someone was watching or not. She wrote notes to people, not just for birthdays and holidays, but if they were simply on her mind. She made people feel good by letting them know she cared. Donna was neat and particular, and she was proud of the way in which she kept her home and family. On Saturday evenings, she would iron her family’s church attire and make sure everyone’s shoes were polished. On Easter, her girls would wear colorful dresses with white gloves and hats. The beds were always made and the table was always set, complete with a fresh cut vase of zinnias and flowers in the spring and summertime. If you looked closely, you could see that the carpet was vacuumed so the nap was all falling in the same direction. She was very welcoming, starting with the wreath on her door. As soon as the door opened, she would immediately offer you something to eat or drink, and she loved to dote on her guests. She was practical and fixed things instead of throwing them out, and she wasn’t afraid of a little hard work. She would clean every inch of the house, weed the flower beds, and insisted on drying clothes on the clothesline all year-round. On a lighter note, the slight hill between the clothesline and the fence sometimes posed a problem. She lost her balance on multiple occasions, rolling down the hill and ending up in a patch of poison ivy. To Donna, this was a small consequence in making sure that things were done properly. And before going out, she would meticulously style her hair until it was “just so.”

Donna was always looking to help others complete tasks and get things done. On the civic level, she belonged to the Silver Spring Township Republican Women’s Group for many years. No task was too big to accomplish at home; when Al didn’t take care of removing an upright piano from their home fast enough to her liking, Donna spent the day cutting and sawing it into small pieces so the garbage man could take it. Yes, she was certainly a determined woman.

But again, all these traits circle back to what gave Donna the strength to lead and care for others in her life – her faith in God and her love for Al. Donna didn’t just talk the talk, she walked the walk. She and Al put God first, praying before every meal (or snack), and remembering to thank Him and communicate with Him daily. When Donna’s health declined, and her human body began to fail over the last few months, the care required would force her to relocate to several healthcare facilities. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, she would be isolated in these facilities for the last few months of her life. Instead of the customary kiss goodnight before bed, Al would pat her pillow at home, say goodnight, and tell her that he loved and missed her. When she transitioned to hospice care, Al was finally able to be with his best friend again. Moments before she left us, Al told her that she’s still the girl he married all those years ago, and that she was still his sweetheart. He reiterated that his love for her now was just as strong as it was back then, and that their faith would get them through.

Her family is glad that Donna’s physical pains are gone. She can see again, and the aching in her hands and feet have disappeared. There’s a room that’s been ready for Donna for some time in heaven, but we suspect she’s already cleaned, dusted and vacuumed since her arrival. Her pains may be relieved, but her family’s pain is fresh and just beginning. Donna will be missed by all she has touched over the years.

Surviving Donna is her loving husband of 63 years, Alfred A. “Al” White; his children, Barbara S. Luke White (Bob Anderson) of Mechanicsburg, Brenda A. Nutter (Ron) of Mechanicsburg, Robin L. Goudy (Bill) of Etters, and A. Alan White II of Lewisberry; grandchildren, Erin, Duncan, Nash, Cassidy, Anna, Joseph, Jordan, Nicholas, Felicia and Dylan; great-grandchildren, Kazimierz, Arthur, Cullen, Aurora, Palmer, Ayden, Lila, Adeline, Kendra, and Kiera; and numerous nieces and nephews, particularly Helen, Jeff, Jerry, Kelly, Rhonda, and Sheila. In addition to her parents, Donna was preceded in death by two much-loved grandsons, Jeremy and Evan, and her siblings Tom, Shirley, and Jack.

Services are private and will be held at the convenience of the family. Donna’s final resting place will be in Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, Annville.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a contribution in Donna’s name to: Hospice of Central Pennsylvania, 1320 Linglestown Road, Harrisburg, PA 17110.

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Indiantown Gap National Cemetery

Indiantown Gap Rd, PA 17003

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