In Memoriam: English Emeritus Professor Marjorie Donker

Marjorie Donker was born October 17, 1926, in Broadview Montana (pop. 192) to Paul Powell, a high school teacher, and Hertha Lehfeldt, a rich farmer’s daughter who suffered an untimely death from a stroke when Marjorie was only six. Over the years, reading was her refuge from the sadness and loss of her mother.

After meeting at the University of Montana, she married Wallace G. Donker, an Army war veteran, on September 23, 1946, in Butte, Montana. After Wallace graduated from the University, they moved to Seattle and started a family. Daughter Karin was born in 1949, son Richard was born in 1954, and son Robert was born in 1957. By then the family lived in Mount Vernon. When the children were old enough, Marjorie went to the Skagit Valley Community College to earn a two-year degree, and then the University of Washington, going on to achieve a PhD in English Literature, with an emphasis on Shakespeare and the English Renaissance.

Marjorie was a professor in the English Department at Western Washington State College (now WWU) from 1967 to 1995, and was awarded the status of Professor Emeritus in May 1995.

She and Wallace moved back to Seattle after that and lived there happily the rest of their days. Husband Wallace died in 2010 after enjoying a lengthy retirement as an adverting account manager at the Seattle PI.

Her children survive her, as does her younger brother, Paul. She was 95 and still enjoyed reading until the day she passed.

No services, donations to:


Lydia Place

PO Box 28487 Bellingham, WA 98228