Hipenbecker, Donna Jean
MADISON - Donna Hipenbecker, age 72, died on Dec. 5, 2020, peacefully, in the hospital, of natural causes. Donna was born on March 29, 1948, in Madison, Wis., and was the eldest of two daughters born to Lawrence and Jean (Williamson) Hipenbecker. Donna graduated from LaFollette High School in Madison in 1966 and then attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she received a B.S. in medical technology.
Growing up, Donna spent annual family vacations visiting the Badlands, Yellowstone, Mesa Verde, Grand Canyon, Gettysburg, Niagara Falls and more. Summers included spending time at Olbrich Beach on Lake Monona and driving around the Square on Saturday nights as a teenager, among the other joys of growing up in Madison. After graduation, Donna worked at the University Hospital in Madison as a Medical Technologist in the bone marrow lab until she retired in 2003. She spent her retirement years spending time at her "most favorite spot on earth," her cabin on Skinner Creek in northern Wisconsin, enjoying bonfires and snowmobiling, caring for her beloved pets and companions, Pedro and Biscuit, and visits to Reno to participate in special events with her niece and nephew. She moved into a beautiful apartment in Oakwood Village Prairie Ridge in 2013, where she made many new and wonderful friends and enjoyed reading and puzzling into the wee hours of the morning.
Donna is survived by her sister, Diane Rolfs of Reno, Nev.; nephew, Richard Rolfs of Reno; niece, Beth (Kale) Smimmo of NYC; aunts and uncles, and cousins. Donna was preceded in death by her parents; and brother-in-law, Ted Rolfs. The family wants to thank pastors Peter Beeson of St. John's and Wayne Shannon of Oakwood; the entire staff at Settlers Ridge; Seasons; the Rehabilitation Center; Oakwood Physical Therapy staff, especially Kristin; and Social Services, especially Renae at Oakwood East, for their support and wonderful, loving care of Donna. A private entombment service was conducted on Dec. 10, 2020, at Eastlawn Memorial Park Mausoleum. A memorial service will follow at a later date in the beginning of 2021.