Cover photo for Donna Ziel's Obituary
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Donna Ziel

August 31, 1931 — August 17, 2023

Donna Ziel

August 31, 1931 — August 17, 2023


Obituary for 8/23/23

Donna Ziel

August 31, 1931 to August 17, 2023

Donna Ziel, 91, the beloved wife of Dr. Harry K. Ziel, and 62-year resident of Glendale, California, died peacefully, with family at her side, on Thursday, August 17, 2023.

Donna was born and lived in Canton, Pennsylvania, until she went to Wellesley College in Massachusetts where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in economics. She met Harry, then a student at Harvard, and in 1952, they were married at Valley Forge. The Ziel family moved to Philadelphia where Harry attended the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. After a brief time working at the Federal Reserve in Philadelphia, Donna became a full-time mother. Five of their seven children were born in Philadelphia. In 1961, Harry completed his residency, and the family moved to Glendale, California. Two more children were born for a total of 7. Harry practiced medicine for 40 years at Kaiser Permanente Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Harry and Donna had been married 57 wonderful years when Harry passed in 2009. Most dear to their hearts was their family to whom they passed on their values of faith, family, integrity, education, service, and a strong work ethic.

Donna is survived by her 7 children and their spouses; 13 grandchildren; 12 great grandchildren, plus another on the way; and numerous relatives in the extended family.

Donna’s interests were numerous and varied. She enjoyed playing bridge, gardening, camping, backpacking, reading, theater, movies, and traveling abroad. Some of Donna’s dream trips with Harry included Antarctica, the Galapagos, Australia, China, and India. After Harry’s passing in 2009, Donna continued to travel abroad with her children to Africa, the Baltic, and Europe.

Donna supported her children’s activities and interests by volunteering in the community. The Ziels were a Scouting family. All 3 sons were Eagle Scouts and 4 daughters were First Class Girl Scouts. Donna was president of the Sierra Madre GS Council for 6 years; GS Cookie Chair for 10 years; Cub Scout Den mother; Girl Scout leader; she took her troop to National Center West in Wyoming; she has backpacked most of the John Muir Trail, and she summited Mt. Whitney twice; Donna was also responsible for Eagle Scouts and First Class Girl Scouts carrying banners in the Rose Parade. Donna was awarded the Thanks Badge, Girl Scouts’ highest honor.

As Donna’s children grew more independent, her involvement in the community also grew. She held leadership positions at church, PTA, National Charity League, Assistance League, and PEO.  

Donna became a member of PEO in 1980. She served on the State Board for 7 years, starting in 1990, and she was president of California State Chapter 1996-1997.  The theme of her convention was, “PEO, a Gift in the Circle of Life.” Donna dearly loved and was deeply committed to her PEO sisters, and the educational vision and goals of PEO.

Donna was a servant-leader whose style was graced with soft-spoken wisdom and humility. The impact of her leadership has had a far-reaching, even multi-generational, impact.

By far, however, Donna’s greatest legacy in life was forging her marriage and family with saintly love, enduring faith, hard work, and uncanny devotion. This wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother is loved and esteemed by her family more than words can describe. 


The viewing will be held Monday, September 11, 2023

 Glendale Forest Lawn, from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

1712 South Glendale Avenue, Glendale, CA 91205


The funeral and burial service will be Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Glendale Forest Lawn 

Service is from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. (Doors open at 2:00 p.m.)

Reception will follow.


In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to support:

The PEO Educational Loan Fund (ELF)

“In Memory of Donna Ziel, California Chapter GD”

P.E.O. Executive Office, Attention: Treasurer’s Depart.

3700 Grand Ave., Des Moines, Iowa, 50312

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation of Donna Ziel

Monday, September 11, 2023

Starts at 2:00pm (Pacific time)

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Funeral Service of Donna Ziel

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

2:30 - 3:30pm (Pacific time)

Forest Lawn - Glendale - Church of the Recessional

1712 South Glendale Avenue, Glendale, CA 91205

Chapel Open: 2:00 p.m. Interment: 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

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