Donna Holsten

Obituary of Donna K. Holsten

Donna K. Holsten, 79, of State College, passed away peacefully Wednesday, April 1, 2020, at Juniper Village At Brookline. Born June 5, 1940, in Altoona, she was the daughter of the late Harold D. and Jean Walter Walls. On September 3, 1977 she married Charles L. Holsten, who preceded her in death on March 16, 1989. She is survived by three sisters, Carol Wyerman and her husband Charles of Lake Placid, FL, Ellen DeAntonio and her husband David of State College, and Dorothy Palkovic of Lake Placid, FL. Donna is also survived by many loving cousins, nieces and nephews. Donna graduated from Hollidaysburg High School in 1958 at the top of her class. In 1961 she received her Registered Nurse degree from The Presbyterian School of Nursing in Pittsburgh, PA. She earned a Bachelor's of Science degree in Nursing at the University of Pittsburgh, and her Masters of Science degree in Public Health at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI. Loving and caring for people was Donna's vocation. Her career spanned many years practicing nursing in public health in Michigan and Pennsylvania. She worked for The Public Health Nursing Division of the Detroit Health Department in Detroit, MI, The Department of Health in Central PA and The University of Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, PA. She practiced as a nurse in Detroit during the civil rights movement in 1967 and retired in 2005 from the non-profit agency Philadelphia Corp. for the Aging where she was a caseworker in central city, sometimes under harsh conditions. Donna was an advocate for the poor and elderly. She fought for equal opportunity, marched for civil rights, and worked tirelessly for social justice. Her true calling was to the "front lines" of service and she was deeply respected for living her convictions every day of her life. Along with politics she enjoyed food, basketball and mystery novels, she also attended classes in Spanish and tai chi, and participated in dragon boat racing. She always enjoyed spending time with family, friends and a wide variety of pets, and had been an avid gardener. Services will be private at the convenience of the family. Burial will be in Carson Valley Cemetery in Duncansville, PA. Memorial contributions may be made to Best Friends Animal Society at Arrangements are under the care of Koch Funeral Home, State College. Online condolences and signing of the guest book may be entered at or visit us on Facebook.
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