The Sparkle of Your Eyes, The Brightness of Your Smile…

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Donna Crippen:
December 3, 1928 – March 21, 2020

Donna Crippen, lifelong resident of El Monte, passed away peacefully on March 21, 2020 at the age of 92. She graduated from El Monte High School in 1945 and then pursued training and a career in nursing.

While working as a nurse, Donna met an up and coming entrepreneur named Jack Crippen who had just started “Crippen’s Ambulance Service.” Jack and Donna’s courtship culminated on September 15, 1948 when the eloped in Las Vegas, NV.

Jack and Donna shared a passion for serving their community. They established “Meals on Wheels” in July of 1974, an organization focused on providing meals to elderly who had difficulty getting out. The El Monte/South El Monte “Meals on Wheels” is still serving dozens in our community today. Donna was also actively involved in the Parent Teacher Association and served on the Board of Directors for Hope House.

On any given day, you could find her faithfully manning her post at the El Monte Museum where she served as its curator. Nobody visited the Museum without learning something new about El Monte’s history from Donna. She not only taught the history of our city, she would express the confidence she had in its future. Donna actively worked at the Museum until the age of 90.

Donna would consistently convey the importance of working together and not in opposition of improvement. Donna was an optimist who always looked for the good in situation and people.

She would often say “I think you always find what you are looking for in people and circumstances. If you are looking for the good, you find it, and if you look for the bad or negative you will find that too. I choose to see the good!” Donna made a positive impact on this world and to those around her. She was beacon of light and wisdom to those of us privileged enough to have known her.

Donna dedicated most of her life serving others. The extent of her life’s efforts could not be fully appreciated in a short obituary, but she had been formally acknowledged as:
-Women of Year by the EM/SEM Chamber of Commerce
-Senior of the Year by El Monte Seniors
-Woman of Achievement by the Business and Professional Women’s Club
-Good Guy Award by the Meals on Wheels Board of Directors
-El Monte’s Person of the Century by the Mayor and City Council of El Monte

Her oldest daughter Sharon preceded her in death, February 2018. She is survived by two daughters, Penny Crippen-Infante, Mexico City, Mexico, Sheila Crippen-Thomas, El Monte, California, seven grandchildren, and thirteen great-grandchildren.

She will be sorely missed.

Memorial Service
Friday, June 12th 11:00AM
Valley Community Church
3039 Santa Anita Ave.
El Monte, CA 91733