Donna Vivian Wardrop Russak
11/29/1926 - 08/13/2017
Donna Vivian Wardrop Russak, 90, died Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017, in Logan, Utah. She passed away peacefully in her sleep from complications due to age.
Donna was born Nov. 29, 1926, in Salt Lake City, to Sarah Jane Cameron and James Dillworth Wardrop. She was the youngest in a family of three brothers and one sister. She had a very close relationship with her mother. Family was always very important to her.
Donna graduated from East High in 1944. She worked at Porte Publishing for five years. She became a Red Cross worker at Fort Douglas V.A. Hospital in SLC during WWII where her future husband, Joseph Russak, was a patient. They dated for a short time, then he was discharged and returned home to Pennsylvania. After trying a long-distance relationship, Donna informed Joe that she wasn’t going to wait much longer, and he made haste back to Utah. They married in June 1947, spent 37 years happy together and were blessed with three children: JoLynne, Randall James and David Ward (Ruth Roberts); as well as six grandchildren: Rachel (Jesse Corbridge), Sarah (Steve Kent), Moriah, Matthew, Anna and Michel; and two great-grandchildren: Charlotte and Miles Kent.
She served as a Stake Relief Society Secretary, Stake Singles Representative and a teacher in every ward auxiliary. She was a longtime member of the Salt Lake Canon Stake 4th ward. Donna was an active member of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers and donated several family heirlooms to the SLC DUP museum. She completed temple work for many members of her own family, including her husband.
She loved her friends and going out but she was also fiercely independent and valued her time alone. She was an avid reader, champion crossword solver and talented needleworker. Her yard was full of beautiful flowers and trees. She loved to travel the world with friends and family and also loved her home on Glenrose Drive, where she lived for 60 years. She was always willing to be honest, sometimes to the point of being blunt. Donna also had a sharp wit and loved to banter with others. She leaves behind a legacy of family, religion and her independent spirit. Just a few days ago, her son David took her hand, saying, “Mom, that’s a good, strong grip,” to which she replied: “You betcha. I’ll fight you anytime.” We love you, Mom, aunt, grandma and great-grandma Donna.
There will be a viewing at Larkin Mortuary (260 East South Temple, SLC) on Friday Aug. 18th from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., followed by a graveside service at Salt Lake City Cemetery (200 N. St.) at 12:00 p.m.