Donna Esther (Whitwam) Roembach passed away peacefully on Saturday, May 7th, 2022 at the Kansas City Hospice House.
Donna and her beloved twin sister Monna were born on July 3, 1922 in Greensburg, Kansas to Rev. Charles D. Whitwam and Mary Belle Whitwam. The youngest of eight children, Donna moved with her family all around Kansas as their father was called to lead numerous Methodist churches. Donna, like both of her parents and all of her sisters, graduated from college, thanks to an exceptional family emphasis on education. Donna earned her degree from Friends University in 1944, and weeks after graduating she wed her sweetheart, T. L. “Tex” Roembach. Theirs was a great love story. Donna devotedly followed Tex all over the country as he completed his pilot’s training to serve during WWII.
Donna and Tex had five children: Daniel, Eric, Jeanine, Theodore, and Kimberly. After Tex’s service, the family lived briefly in Cheney, KS and then settled down in Norwich, KS. Here Tex headed the family bank and Donna committed herself to being an exceptional wife, mother and homemaker. The family was rocked by tragedy in 1961 when Tex died in an automobile accident. Going forward Donna raised her five children as a single mom with her faith and her extended family guiding her. Donna’s faith was tested by the many losses in her life, but her hope and trust in God never faltered.
Donna moved to Lenexa in 1967 where she continued to raise her family and became involved in the Lenexa United Methodist Church. She was a proud founding member of PEO Chapter HE and loved her PEO sisters wholeheartedly. She was involved in supporting her children’s schools and interests, had many creative hobbies, and traveled the world with the People to People organization.
She remained close to all of her sisters, Nina Belle, Juanita, Rowena, Helen, Dorothy and Monna, despite being separated geographically.
In the mid 1970’s, Donna began working at KU Medical Center, where she worked until she retired in 1985. During this time she became active in the singles group at Countryside Christian Church in Mission, KS. Donna remained an active and devoted member there for the rest of her life. She formed many cherished and enduring friendships there which greatly nourished her life.
Donna’s life was defined by her loving devotion to her family and her unshakable faith in God. Like her mother, she was generous to a fault. Doona had a lifelong love of animals, a penchant for chocolate ice cream, a quiet and knowing laugh, unending patience, beautiful twinkling sapphire eyes, a gorgeous alto singing voice, and the heart of a lioness.
Donna was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Warren, and all six of her sisters, as well as her husband, T.L. “Tex” Roembach and her two oldest sons, Dan and Eric. That is quite a welcoming committee in heaven.
She is survived by: daughter in law, Francine Podenski of Walnut Creek, CA, Jeanine Roembach/Clark (Greg) of White Bear Lake, MN and their children, Haley, Emily, Ben, and Claire, Ted Roembach of Prairie VIllage, KS, and Kim Roembach Ratliff (Jon) of Prairie VIllage, KS and their children Nick and Hannah. Donna was also thrilled to have welcomed seven great grandchildren into this world. She also leaves many nieces and nephews who she adored, so many friends, and her beloved Siberian cat, Angie.
The family suggests donations in Donna’s memory be made to the KC Hospice House.