Friday, July 12, 2024
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Donna Lee Doering Metcalf: 1935-2024


Donna Lee Doering Metcalf was intelligence, warmth, adventure, and fun packed into sixty-one inches of dimpled sweetness.
Born on February 12, 1935, to Lloyd Doering and Vera Williams Doering, Donna grew up in Tacoma with her older brother, Dean. She graduated from Stadium High School in 1953 and completed her teaching degree at Central Washington College of Education (now CWU) in 1957. In Central’s registration line, Donna met returning Navy vet Edwin Metcalf. They married in 1958, welcoming Mary, Matthew, and Mark over the next six years.

Donna began her teaching career in Vancouver. After marriage, she moved to Edmonds, where she taught until retirement. Most of those years were spent with first graders at Hilltop and Edmonds elementary schools. Along with teaching young learners, she advocated for colleagues as an Edmonds Education Association representative, contract negotiator, and strike captain. She mentored many new teachers as they entered the profession.

Donna was a Bluebird leader, den mother, team mother, and cheerleader at numerous football, basketball, baseball, volleyball, band, and choir events. As a result, many of her children’s friends knew her and have sent touching, much-appreciated messages since learning of her passing.

As a preteen, she was a Girl Scout and played steel-lap guitar in her teenage brother’s band. Around the same age, she frequented Tacoma’s minor league baseball games, scorebook in hand. She volunteered as a ticket taker during the inaugural season of the Everett AquaSox. She loved the Seattle Mariners. She and Ed had Husky football season tickets for years. They also enjoyed attending Husky basketball games.

Her adventurous spirit led her to try parasailing, white-water rafting, and acting in community theater. She loved to dance. With Ed, she traveled through the western U.S. in their RoadTrek van. They snowbirded in Surprise, Arizona, for 20 winters. They visited Alaska, Hawaii, Europe, the Caribbean, and Japan. Her favorite trips were those she took to Michigan to visit her grandsons.

Donna raised three children in her Edmonds home, and watched her grandchildren play there. After 35 years, she and Ed moved first to Maple Valley and more recently to Olympia.

Donna was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, colleague, and friend. She is survived by Edwin, her husband of 65 years; daughter, Mary; son Matt, his wife Terri, and their sons Ethan and Ben; and son Mark and his wife Kelli.

Preceding her in death were her parents; brothers Rex (infant) and Dean; and daughter-in-law Barbie.

We, her family, wish to thank the staff at the Hampton Alzheimer Special Care Center as well as Puget Sound Hospice for their careful attention to Donna’s needs over the past several years. For those wishing to remember Donna through a memorial donation, we suggest the Foundation for Edmonds School District (, Puget Sound Hospice, or any organization devoted to caring for people at the youngest and oldest stages of life.

A celebration of Donna’s life will be held Saturday, June 22, at 2 p.m., at Capital Place Retirement Community, 700 Black Lake Blvd. SW, Olympia. For those planning to attend, be aware that onsite parking is limited but there is ample parking across the street.