Passed away in her home in Ukiah, California on January 26, 2014 under the loving care of her family and hospice. She is survived by Richard Mattern, her husband of 60 years; her mother, Idell Wipf of Ukiah; her brother Ernie Wipf of Ukiah and his wife Eileen, their children, Tedi and Michaelyn; her sister Idamae Isotolo of Jackson, California; her daughter Julie Golden of Ukiah and her husband Joe, their children, Connor, Ryan, Kaili and Liya; her daughter Jill Mattern of New York City; her son John Mattern of Ukiah and wife Inger, their children, Tucker, Leif and Shayne; and her nephew Andy Mattern of Ukiah and his wife Pauline Hurme. Donna was born on November 13, 1936 in Ajo, Arizona to A.J. and Idell Hammons and moved to Ukiah when she was seven years old. Donna graduated from Ukiah High School and was an administrative assistant for the Ukiah School District until she became a co-owner with her husband of Mattern Sand and Gravel and Mattern Vineyards. In the 1980s, she became the proud proprietor of Esther's dress shop which had been owned and operated by her mother since the 50s. She was the beloved matriarch of the family, sewing dresses for her daughters when they were in grade school and supporting them in Brownies, Girl Scouts, riding competitions and sports activities. She enjoyed her son's musical talents and loved to sing and dance and watch him perform. She was proud of all her children's and grandchildren's accomplishments and loved to brag about them to all who would listen. The winter holidays were her favorite time of the year as she prepared for her family gatherings. Christmas cookie baking throughout the years created wonderful memories when she and her friends would coordinate the "cookie exchange". Donna spent endless hours through the night crafting exquisite Christmas ornaments for the entire family. We will always remember Donna around the Christmas tree. Donna loved being near the water, spending her early summers on Blue Lakes with her close friend, Adrienne Parker. In later years, she and her husband built a cabin and spent many wonderful years on the lake. They also owned a home on Maui and made lifelong friends during the winters they spent in the sunshine. She and Richard traveled extensively through Europe, visiting family in Germany and England. Most of all Donna loved her husband and family and will be greatly missed by all that knew her and loved her. Services will be held at Eversole Mortuary in Ukiah, California on Friday January 31, 2014 at 11:00 a.m., followed by graveside services and a reception at the Elks Lodge. Memorial donations can be sent to Phoenix Hospice of Mendocino County, 100 Senhedrin Circle, Willits, CA 95490 or the Cancer Resource Center of Mendocino County, 590 S. Dora Street, Ukiah, CA 95482.
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Published Online in the Press Democrat from Jan. 28 to Jan. 29, 2014