DonnaJean Wendle, a civic leader active for several decades in southern Oregon government, education and community organizations, died on March 21 in Grants Pass. She leaves behind her husband Dean R. Wendle and a large family that will forever celebrate the gift of her life, her love of learning, and her commitment to public service. She served on the Grants Pass City Council, the Board of the Grants Pass School District 7 and the Southern Oregon Education Service District Board, and many other community groups supporting library services, education, literacy, housing and transit.Born in Los Angeles, California on January 9, 1938 to Paul and Ruby Moscoe, she attended Huntington Park High School and the University of California, Los Angeles, and went on to gain her teaching credentials at the University of Southern California. She taught fourth grade in Los Angeles before meeting her husband, Dean, a U.S. Navy Officer, at a community dance. They were married July 27, 1959 in Southgate, California, and raised five children together.As their family grew and Dean pursued a career in banking and finance, they established homes in Garden Grove, California, Lewiston, Idaho, Pocatello, Idaho, and Portland, Oregon, before moving to Grants Pass in 1982.In Southern Oregon, DonnaJean devoted herself as an advocate for improving education and public services for the region. In addition to her seats on the city council and education boards, she was an Executive Director of Josephine County United Way, and served on community and advisory groups for Josephine Community Libraries, College Dreams, Josephine Community Housing and Josephine County Transit. She was particularly proud of being on the team helping to develop the new Grants Pass High School, and considered the student body award of recognition one of her highest honors.She was active in the community until she was nearly 80, when a severe illness slowed her body. Nothing ever slowed her mind or spirit. She was a member of PEO Chapter EX and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. She is celebrated by her husband Dean; her sister Linda Armendariz and husband Richard Armendariz; her children Doug, Daryl, Denise, Dan and Dana Joy; her children’s spouses George Grubb, Diane Carlson, Carey Wendle and Brian Wilk; and her grandchildren Graham, Claire, Jake, Tyler, Aidan, Dillon and Cora Ann.Due to the current national health crisis, no public memorial will be held at this time. The family gives special thanks to Suzy Rice, Tiffany Ogren, and the entire staff of Grandma’s Haven for the loving care they gave DonnaJean. In lieu of flowers, the family asks donations in memory of DonnaJean Wendle go to: Josephine Community Library Foundation, PO Box 1684, Grants Pass, OR 97528.
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