Donna James, 84 of Pistol River, died Dec. 31, 2018, of a heart attack in Medford. She was born Aug. 13, 1934, in Gold Beach. She was a member of Curry County pioneer families Ismert and Walker.
Donna and her family, Robert and Mildred Walker Ismert, lived around Oregon while Robert worked with the Oregon State Bridge Department. She attended schools in Canyonville, Camas Valley, Roseburg, Portland, Vanport and Pistol River. Donna graduated from Gold Beach Union High School in 1952. Donna worked several jobs including waitress, secretary, sales clerk and for Oregon Welfare and Children Services.
She was married to Clarence Lee Hook, Jr. in 1954 and later remarried Alfred James in 1973. Al was a grader operator when they met and after marrying Donna they lived in several more locations including Coos Bay. After a few years, the couple based themselves in Fort Worth, Texas, where Al’s family lived. The couple drove a long-haul truck throughout the United States. Donna took her time behind the wheel while they were on the road. Donna and Al returned to Pistol River in 1980. Al was retired from the U.S. Marine Corps and the couple traveled to attend various events and reunions the Marines held. Donna had the pleasure of attending one function in Hawaii.
She was a member of the Pistol River Friendship Club and served as various officers throughout the years. She loved to play all types of games including Skip-Bo, Uno, dominos and Scrabble. Donna also enjoyed sewing in her younger years. Despite her rheumatoid arthritis she continued to knit and crochet and contributed items to the friendship club’s annual Christmas bazaar effort as well as knitting a hat for everyone in the family this Christmas. Donna and Al enjoyed attending various professional sporting events over the years. When their grandson, Avery Hook, began playing sports the couple attended games both in Gold Beach and away games. They also supported their grandson, Trevor Hook, at his school activities including band concerts.
She is survived by son and daughter-in-law, Paul and Jean Hook of Pistol River; grandsons, Avery Hook and Trevor Hook of Pistol River; sister and brother-in-law, Carole and Wes Feasel, also of Pistol River; and several family members. Donna was preceded in death by her parents Robert and Mildred Ismert; husbands Clarence Lee Hook, Jr and Alfred James; children Steven Hook and Darla Hook.
A celebration of Donna’s life will be held noon Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019, at the Pistol River Friendship Hall.