Donna was born on October 11, 1923 in Rochester, New York, daughter of the late Faye William and Edna (Kimble) Bloomingdale. After her father’s death and her mother remarriage to James E. Wolfe in 1933, Donna Jean moved to rural Bryan and spent the rest of her life in Williams County. She attended Stony Point School and graduated from Bryan High School in 1941. After graduation she worked at the Citizen’s Bank in Bryan. She married Morris C. Bistline on February 22, 1946 in the United Methodist Church in Pulaski. They moved onto the family farm where she resided until her move to Hillside Country Living in November 2008.
Donna Jean’s work life revolved primarily around raising her family and being a partner to Morris, active in every aspect of the farming operation. She had also worked for Wasnich Insurance in West Unity and at the Williams County Treasurer’s Office during tax seasons. She was active in many organizations, including Eastern Star and Civil Air Patrol, 5-H club and 4-H clubs as an advisor for many years, a longtime member of the American Legion Auxiliary and a charter member of the CBS Study Club. She was a member of the Kunkle Presbyterian Church until it closed, and then joined the West Unity Presbyterian Church. She taught Sunday school for both children and adults in Kunkle and sing in the church choir. Donna Jean had many interests and hobbies including sewing, gardening, painting and music. Through her love of music, she was led to various nursing homes in the area, including Hillside Country Living, where she would put on musical programs singing and playing her ukulele and mandolin. Donna Jean and Morris traveled extensively and also spent many winters in Florida.
Surviving are her two daughters, Shirley (Bill) Brannan of Waterville, Ohio and Cindy (David) Casey of North Baltimore, Ohio; two sons, David (Teri) Bistline of West Unity, Ohio and Ron (Noemi) Bistline of Grand Rapids, Michigan; nine grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren. Also surviving are her sister-in-law, Donna Jean Lorntz of Bryan and three cousins, William Kimble and Donald Kimble both of California and Bill (Pat) Koeppe of Fairborn, Ohio. She was preceded in death by her parents and stepfather, her loving husband, and infant son, Charles C. Bistline.
Graveside services for Donna Jean Bistline will be held Saturday at 10:00 a.m. in Shiffler Cemetery, Bryan followed by a Celebration of Life Services at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, August 3, 2013 in the West Unity Presbyterian Church, 201 East North Street, West Unity with Pastor Tom Steensma officiating. Visitation for Donna Jean will be held Friday, August 2, 2013 from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. in the funeral home.
Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider tributes in memory of Donna Jean Bistline be made to the Activity Fund at Hillside Country Living, 09876 County Road 16, Bryan, Ohio 43506 or to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, 1359 Broadway, Suite 1509, New York, New York 10018.
Condolences may be sent to the family or the online guest book may be signed at www.oberlinturnbull.com
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