Donna Heidbrink Biography
Donna Jean Riddell was born on May 23, 1927. A southern California girl, she and her older brother Orin were raised by their parents in San Gabriel. After her graduation from high school in 1945, she attended the University of Southern California, graduating with an art degree. She then moved to St. Louis, where her brother was attending medical school, and began her career as an elementary school teacher. While in St. Louis, she met her future husband, Charles (Chuck) Heidbrink. They wed on April 14, 1951. Shortly thereafter, Donna and Chuck moved into a home in Whittier, California. Their son Bill was born in 1955. In 1960, they moved to Newport Beach and resided in the Newport Beach area for the rest of their lives. In her long teaching career, Donna taught primary grades for many years, then became an art, science, and library specialist.
Donna was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and friend. Donna was a woman of faith and a lifelong Lutheran. She had a special ability to defuse conflicts with tact and grace. She enjoyed cooking, murder mysteries, golf, cards, and travel.
Donna Riddell Heidbrink died of intestinal failure on July 18, 2012. She is survived by her husband Chuck, their children Christine, Chuck Jr., and Bill, her daughters-in-law Marsha and Mary, her grandchildren Kate, Tess, and Luke, and her many friends. A memorial service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on July 28 at Christ Lutheran Church, Costa Mesa. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Orange County chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.