Lt. Colonel Donna Mae Forstrom, 87, of Bushland, TX passed into Heaven’s honored ranks on October 17, 2021.
Graveside services will be at 1:00 P.M., Wednesday, October 20, 2021, at Llano East Cemetery with Dr. G. A. Roach officiating. Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, 2800 Paramount Blvd.
Lt. Colonel Donna Mae Forstrom, USAF retired, entered this world on January 5, 1934, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Donna spent her years as a youth growing up in Grand Rapids, Michigan. During her youth and into adulthood, she was an active member of the Lutheran church and gracing everyone with her angelic voice in the church choir. Donna grew up loving animals, but her passion was in showing her registered basenji dogs. Throughout her life she never lost her love of dogs and will always be remembered as the lady who could find beauty even in the ugliest mutt she rescued.
Donna was an adventurer at heart and loved to travel, especially overseas. She enjoyed taking trips to her family’s homeland of Sweden, visiting family, and seeing the countryside, but she also traveled to Ireland, Denmark, Norway, and Spain just to name a few.
Her father, Carl Adrian Forstrom, was a Corporal in L Troup, 2nd Calvary during World War 1. He became a florist after leaving the service and Donna loved to spend all her spare time with her daddy at his floral shop. She was a true daddy’s girl, and she was his pride and joy. After graduating from high school in 1952, Donna enrolled at Augustana College and Trinity College of Nursing and Health Science in Rock Island, Illinois to study nursing.
After graduating college in 1956, Donna moved to Duluth, Minnesota to work at Saint Luke’s Hospital. The adventurer in her kicked in and she then moved to Seattle, Washington to work at the Seattle Children’s Hospital. While working in Seattle she met Airman First Class Patricia “Pat” Sears who would become her oldest and most cherished friend. Over the years, miles may have separated them, but their friendship remained strong until the end.
During Donna’s time in Seattle and speaking to her newfound friend, she decided to add some more adventure to her life by joining the United States Air Force. She entered the Air Force as a 1st Lieutenant on January 16, 1962. Four years later on August 17, 1966, she was promoted to Capitan. In July of 1968, Donna completed her training at the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine. She was stationed at multiple Air Force bases across the USA from Main to Washington and also oversees in Spain. Her final duty station was at Scott Air Force base in Illinois with the 11th Aeromed Airlift Squadron where she met Colonel Helen Norris. Another lifelong friendship was born. Donna left active duty on August 31, 1973, at the rank of Capitan and went in the USAF Reserves.
During her service, she received the Air Force Commendation Medal, Special Operations Group 2, Headquarters 16th Air Force; Air Force Outstanding Unit Award; National Defense Service Medal; Air Force Longevity Service Award w/1 Oak Leaf Cluster; and the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award w/2 Oak Leaf Clusters.
After leaving active duty, she settled in Bushland, Texas with Colonel Helen Norris, who was also a retired Air Force flight nurse, and went to work as a nurse at the Veterans Hospital in Amarillo, Texas. While working at the Veterans Hospital, she developed the reputation of running a very tight ship. She oversaw the infectious diseases unit, within the hospital, working hand in hand with the CDC. She retired a Lt. Colonel from the USAF Reserves.
Upon retiring from the Air Force and as a nurse at the Veterans Hospital, she enjoyed spending her days relaxing with Helen, spoiling their dogs, woodworking, and painting. She had an amazing gift of capturing the beauty she saw around her in wood carvings and paintings. She was loyal to those she called a friend and will always be known for her kind and giving heart.
We mourn the passing of Donna, but we have the promise from the Word we will see her again whole and free from pain.
Donna was preceded in death by her parents, Carl and Huldah Forstrom, life-long friend, Colonel Helen Norris.
Survivors include her close family friends, Alice Dickens, Jayson and Tammy Ussery and family, Shelly Dickens and family, and Pat Sears; and cousin, Marlene Hack and family.