Serving Whitman County since 1877

Donna Lee Robinson (Beeman)

March 25, 1952 - June 12, 2024

Donna Lee Robinson (Beeman) passed away peacefully at Regency Pullman on June 12, 2024, due to complications of Alzheimer's disease.

A special and heartfelt thank you goes to the wonderful staff of Regency and, in particular, the memory care unit. To a person you provided outstanding care for Donna for the six months and six days that she was a resident there prior to her passing.

Donna was born in Wadena, Minnesota, on March 25, 1952, to Donald and Marcelle Beeman. She was later joined by her brother, and only sibling, Charles (aka Chuckie, but ONLY to Donna), on February 5, 1956. The two of them remained close until Charles' passing on January 24, 2022.

Donna's father, Donald, was a career military man and served in WWII and the Korean War. Marcelle was a French national who Donald met and married in the then French colony of Algiers shortly after the conclusion of WWII. Donna and her mother lived briefly in Kennewick, Wash., while Donald served his country in Korea. Shortly after his return to the States Donald was transferred to Naples, Italy, and the family moved with him. Following his tour of duty in Italy Donald was eventually reassigned to Fairchild AFB in 1958 and the family took up residence in Spokane, which was their last move.

In Spokane, their home was a stone throw from the Dishman Hills which became Donna's playground. She loved hiking the hills and she spent a great many hours, by herself, doing so. Those experiences helped develop her love of nature, her independent spirit and her inquisitiveness about all things. She was an excellent student at all grade levels and graduated from West Valley High School in 1970. While in school she participated in a number of activities but, when talking about her time in school, the thing she talked about most were those times when she helped others. Helping others, man or beast, no matter what the situation, was always her calling and continued to be so throughout her life.

Donna began attending Washington State University in the fall of 1970 and brought her best friend with her, Socks, a horse she had rescued from an abusive situation following high school graduation. She boarded Socks near campus and, in addition to her classes, went to work almost immediately at the Compton Union Building (the CUB) to pay all of her colleges costs and living expenses and, of course, the cost of keeping and feeding Socks. While in school she took a wide range of classes including the farrier course taught by her favorite instructor, Orvil Sears.

She graduated from WSU with a degree in speech pathology in 1974 and was accepted into the Speech Pathology Master's Program at Eastern Washington University. However, just prior to beginning that program, she was offered a full-time job at the CUB. While working at the CUB as a student she began as a server and, after four years, ended as a Student Manager. She felt a real kinship with the building, knew most aspects of the CUB's operation and had formed many friendships there. Those considerations caused her to abandon her dream of becoming a speech pathologist and she returned to the CUB where she worked for 32 more years. For the majority of those years she was the scheduling manager and was known by many people on campus simply as "Donna at the CUB". She was responsible for scheduling the use of the buildings 30 meeting spaces as well as managing the set-up crew that configured the room for the particular event. She also compiled the refreshment and/or food order for the event as requested by the occupying group and insured it's on time delivery. It was a huge job and she worked many 60 hour weeks insuring that everything from small meetings to large weddings and 300 person banquets went off without a hitch. Despite the long hours she felt such an intense obligation to "her public" that she would have it no other way.

Donna retired from State service in June of 2006, when they closed the CUB for remodeling. She considered that she and the building were both retired that year and she never set foot in the remodeled CUB. Donna was too energetic to stay retired for long and subsequently worked tagging juvenile salmon on their way to the sea as part of a research project. When that project concluded she went to work at Champion Electric until they closed and then at JJ Building Supply in Colfax until it closed.

Donna married her husband, Doug, in July of 1988, and they lived on a bit of acreage west of Pullman their entire married life. Donna was never without multiple horses and/or donkeys and Donna was passionate about rescuing dogs, her all-time favorite being Howie, a black and tan coon hound and the best dog in the world.

Donna is survived by her husband Doug, her step-children Kendra Robinson-Harding and Derrick Robinson, step-grandchildren Kyra, Logan, Bridget and Elliot, her sister-in-law Cyndi Wiegan and husband Art, her brother-in-law Scott Robinson and wife Melissa, her sister-in-law, Karen Beeman, her nieces Danielle and Antoinette, her nephew Tristan, two donkeys (Willey and Phoenix) and eight dogs.

Donna was preceded in death by her parents, Donald and Marcelle, and her brother, Chuckie. Rest in peace, Darling. Your work here is done. You always put others first and you served your public well. I have no doubt that you are reaping your Heavenly reward and finding all of the answers to those mysteries of the universe that you were always so curious about. I will always love you and there are thousands of people who will remember the help you so willingly provided.


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