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Donna Jane Lewicki

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Donna Jane Lewicki Obituary
Donna Jane Lewicki of Elmhurst, Illinois passed away, peacefully, surrounded by her family. Donna grew up in Pontiac, Illinois with her mother, Lucille Meng, nee Arnold, her father, Gerald Meng, and brothers Al and John. Together, her mother and father owned and operated a grocery store on the town square from the 1920's to 1950's. After high school, Donna moved to Chicago and attended the Grant Hospital School of Nursing and graduated as a Registered Nurse. Donna was a U.S. military veteran having served in World War II as a 2nd lieutenant in the Army Nurse Corp. She was stationed at Ft. McCoy, Wisconsin; Camp Grant, Illinois; and Ft. Lewis, Washington. She recalled several memories of treating Japanese POWs with care and compassion at Camp Grant; caring for recently returned Bataan Death March U.S. POWs at Ft. Lewis; and singing Glen Miller tunes while touring with the Army Band. An oral history of her WW II service is available https://youtu.be/gy5srOtjJJU. After the war, Donna earned her Bachelor's Degree in Nursing at the University of Oregon with a minor in Shakespeare Studies. In returning to Pontiac for a family visit, she bumped into a former high school classmate she had not seen since the war - Ray Lewicki - and within a year they were married. Donna and Ray enjoyed many years together raising a family, contributing to their nursing and business professions, loving to learn each and every day, and celebrating their Catholic faith in unison. Ray passed away in 1982 and is now reunited with Donna in everlasting peace. Besides her family, Donna's most rewarding life contribution was her innovative and valued leadership in Diabetes Education. She saw an increasing health care need in the late 1970's and realized a new treatment collaborative was warranted for diabetes patients. In the early 1980's, Donna led a forward-thinking initiative to establish one of the first comprehensive Diabetes Education Centers in the country at Elmhurst Memorial Hospital. Nowadays, Diabetes Centers are a common part of the health care landscape. Donna is survived by: her two brothers, Alfred (Mary Lou) Meng and John (Becky) Meng who have many fond and loving memories of their big sister; Donna and Ray's four children, John Lewicki, Tom Lewicki, James (Renee) Lewicki and Mary Ann (Mike) Wangler; her ten grandchildren, Aurian (Ashley) Lewicki, David (Ann) Lewicki, Hana (Daniel) Fullmer, Aaron Lewicki, Cora Rose Lewicki, Jamie Raey Lewicki, Kate Wangler, Sabrina Lewicki, Mick Wangler, and Maeve Donna Wangler; and her two great-grandchildren, Drew Lewicki and Nora Donna Lewicki. When asked recently about her legacy, Donna answered simply, "My legacy is my children and wonderful grandchildren and great-grandchildren." Donna's life was a full and vibrant one and her many life lessons and appreciations will be carried forward by her loving family. Visitation will be on Saturday, July 14, 2018 from 8:00 a.m. until 9:00 a.m. at Gibbons Funeral Home (½ mile north of Saint Charles Road), Elmhurst. Mass of Christian Burial 9:30 a.m. at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. Interment Saint Mary Cemetery, Pontiac, IL. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the , 2451 Crystal Drive, Suite 900, Arlington, VA 22202. For funeral information please call 630-832-0018 or www.gibbonsfuneralhome.com
Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication on July 12, 2018
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