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Oct. 10, 1939 – Dec. 20, 2022
Donna Ennis obit pic

Donna Lou Ennis (Vre Non), 83, passed away peacefully on December 20, 2022. She was born in Reno, Nevada October 10, 1939 to Vincent and Fern (Heffner) Vre Non. She attended Fallon and Reno High Schools where she excelled to a level that allowed her to join the first class of women to matriculate at Santa Clara University in the esteemed O’Connor School of Nursing in 1957. She graduated three years later as valedictorian of the Class of 1960. She launched her 46 year nursing career in Reno, followed by Santa Clara and Oakdale, CA before settling in at Tracy Community Hospital for 42 years of nursing care and obstetrical education. She married Charles E. “Chuck” Ennis on August 16, 1961 in Escalon, CA, Chuck’s hometown, and they raised their three sons in Tracy, CA.

Donna was a beloved obstetrics nurse who could not get through the grocery store without a woman coming in for a hug to give thanks for the support they received while giving birth. She was intimately involved in developing and instructing childbirth classes at Tracy Hospital for 17 years. Ever a trailblazer for women, she became certified by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners in 1998. A working mother herself, she was keen to remove one obstacle her many patients faced in returning to work by providing the blueprint for equipping mothers with access to breast pumps while at work. In 2007, Donna received the Making a Difference for Women Award recognized by the Soroptimists of Tracy, the City of Tracy, the California State Assembly, and the U.S. Congress.

While managing a successful career and family, Donna also was first to volunteer for school help and any extracurricular activities her boys pursued. She was PTA President at Central Elementary School four separate times, taught catechism classes, and was an integral part of the administrative team of the Tracy Tritons Swim Club. She managed this by working nights to ensure she was able to both support her boys and deliver for her patients. She set an example of hard work for her kids, her nieces and nephews and all her colleagues. Her attention to detail and emphasis on doing your personal best were hallmarks of her work ethic.

With three athletic sons and an active husband, Donna was always game to join in on all her boys’ activities. From skiing and backpacking, to the many trips to the Ennis family cabin and multiple tailgates, she was never one to be left behind and was often the glue that made the trips happen. Donna suffered a major injury while skiing in 1987 that left her left arm significantly paralyzed and often in major pain, but this did little to deter her from her mothering and grandmothering duties; something she cherished ‘til her last day.

Donna was predeceased by Chuck, who died in 2016, and four of her five siblings. She leaves her three children and eight grandchildren: Michael and his wife Cindy of Alamo, CA (Kyle, Lemon, Emily); Steven and his wife Sheila of Walnut Creek, CA (Charles, Daniel, William, Ava); and Gregory and his wife Jacqueline of Portland, OR (Drew). She is survived by her sister Teresa (Vre Non) Killian as well as many nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of Life luncheon will be held at The Boathouse at River Islands, 980 Lakeside Drive, Lathrop, CA on Sunday, February 19 from noon to 3 p.m. Family, friends and colleagues are welcome.

The Escalon (Calif.) Times

Jan. 25, 2023