July 23, 1937 — Sept. 3, 2017
Donna Gudaitis, a longtime resident of Kelseyville, California, died Sunday morning, Sept. 3, 2017, while receiving treatment for breast cancer at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.
Donna was born July 23, 1937, in Astoria, Oregon, to Ralph Waldo Olson and Elvira Impi Reini. She graduated from Lewis and Clark Consolidated School in 1951, and from Astoria High School in 1955.
As an extremely gifted artist, she was hired by Ball Studio in Astoria to “tint” black-and-white picture portraits of people, weddings or animals to make them appear to be colored. Also as a young woman out of high school, she was hired as a phone operator who began her connection with a caller by saying “number please,” and then connecting the caller to their desired number by inserting plug-in wires to a connection board to complete the call.
While in high school, she won a poetry contest, and although she participated in sports (gym classes) before the federal Title IX ruling came into effect, she was considered one of the best female athletes in school. She could beat most boys in a foot race.
She married Irving Gregerson in 1957, and they later divorced. During the early 1970s, she married George Gudaitis.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her sister, Nancy McDermott; and brother, John Henry Olson. She is survived by her husband, George Gudaitis; her sons, Dean Gregerson and his wife, Nook, and Steve Gregerson and his wife, Annette; and her brother, Jerry Olson and his wife, Cathy.
Surviving nieces are Debby Miner and her husband, Walter, Cindy McGorty and her husband, Steve, Brenda Courier and Jennifer Olson. Also surviving are nephews Kevin Olson and his wife, Richelle, Bryan Olson and his wife, Teresa, and Brandon Olson. She is also survived by stepdaughter, Jule Lazovsky, her husband, and step-grandchildren in California.
Donna was buried at the Holy Cross Cemetery in Colma, California, Sept. 11, 2017. Any contributions in her name should be made to one of the various charities that promote the study of eliminating breast cancer.