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Donna Van Raaphorst


1943 - 2019
Donna Van Raaphorst Obituary
Donna Van Raaphorst, 75, of Oberlin, OH, passed away October 6, 2019. She was born December 5, 1943 in Detroit, Michigan to Leonard and Eleanor Van Raaphorst. Donna graduated from Dearborn High School and attended Eastern Michigan University, where she graduated with a double major in psychology and history. The following year, completed her MA in history at Eastern Michigan University and continued with her PhD at Kent State University. Over the next thirty years, Donna taught at Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland State University, Baldwin Wallace College and Kent State University. Throughout the course of her career, she was involved with the American Historical Association, The Organization of American Historians, The Ohio Academy of History, The Women Historians of Greater Cleveland, The Greater Cleveland Labor History Society, The Western Reserve Historical Society and The Oberlin Historic Preservation Committee. Donna authored two books: Union Maids Not Wanted: Organizing Domestic Workers, published in 1988, and The History of an Island Prison: From the Development to an American Myth, published in 2011. She was the recipient of two National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships, one at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL and the other at Amherst College in Amherst, MA. She loved reading, writing, traveling, sailing and raising orchids. Donna is survived by sisters, Janet Szopo, Cheryl Klug and Susan Noland; brother, Derek Van Raaphorst; ten nieces and nephews; and thirteen grandnieces and grandnephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and a sister, Eleanor Fillion. A memorial service was held Friday, October 11, 2019 at 4 p.m. at Kendal at Oberlin, 600 Kendal Drive, Oberlin, OH 44074. Memorial contributions may be made to the Cleveland Orchestra, Severance Hall, 11001 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44106. Arrangements are in the care of Dicken Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Elyria. For online condolences, visit:
Published in Heritage Newspapers on Oct. 13, 2019
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