Beth Donn

Ona Beth Slaybaugh Donn

Ona Beth passed away peacefully Sunday, Aug. 1, at home in the presence of her family. Having lived with Multiple Sclerosis for 23 years, her time with us was sadly over. We will remember her strong spirit, still shining in her last smile.

Beth was born June 20, 1937 to Joseph and Dorothy Slaybaugh, owners of Dorjo’s Restaurant on the Rincon coast. She listened to the sound of the surf there, as a child, and grew a lifelong love for the ocean. Beth graduated from Ventura High School, Class of 1955, with honors. She went on to college at UCSB.

In 1957 she married fellow student Frederick Rudzinski. They had one son together, living in Berkeley, Calif., and Yonkers, N.Y. Beth worked in a physics laboratory at the UC Berkeley campus.

In 1966 Beth was married to John Donn. They bought a home at Hollywood Beach, where she was thrilled to be near the ocean again. She and John had two children together. She devoted herself fully to being a wonderful wife and mother.

She was an active supporter of the PTA and other school activities. She also worked, earlier on, as a technical writer, editor, data analyst, and in real estate. Beth spent her later years enjoying motor-home travel and campouts with her husband, listening to music and supporting the arts. She was a bright and witty lady who always got the joke. After a brief hospitalization in 2008, she returned home to be with her family under hospice care.

Ona Beth is survived by husband, John Donn; sons, Gregory Rudzinski of Oxnard and Evan Donn (wife Joanne) of San Francisco; daughter, Jennifer Donn of Oxnard; and many cousins, nieces, and nephews. It was her wish not to have any formal service held in her honor.

The family would like to sincerely thank the many hospice staff members, friends and volunteers who brightened up her last days on this earth.

Her ashes will be placed in the Donn family plot near San Luis Obispo.

Published in the Ventura County Star Aug 14, 2010.