Family was everything to Donna and she cherished her family above all else. Donna passed away in La Jolla, CA on February 4th, 2023.  Our Lord called her home.

Donna was born into a family of pioneers who homesteaded a cattle ranch in Montana. She was born in Bozeman, Montana to Donald LeRoy “Roy” and Iris Cheney on April 13th, 1935. Donna spent much of her early years on the ranch with her aunts and uncles and many cousins. Eventually the Cheney family moved to Santa Barbara when Donna was in high school where she graduated from SBHS class of 1953.  Following graduation Donna attended nursing school at Northwestern University in Chicago. She returned to Santa Barbara, married and had two children. In addition to being a dedicated mother, Donna worked for Drs Jennings, Rydell, Piper and Wittenstein at the Santa Barbara Surgical Center and then for Dr. William A Rack for 30 years.

Donna loved to travel and meet people from all around the world and experience different cultures. After retirement, she traveled throughout the world including Europe, Vietnam, Thailand, China, Australia, New Zealand, Saudia Arabia, and along the way made many more lifelong friends. Donna had a large circle of close friends in American Women for International Understanding, Scottish Country Dancing, National League of Republican Women, PeaceTrees Vietnam, and Daughters of the American Revolution holding leadership positions in most of these organizations.  She was especially proud of her degree in Sottish Country Dancing which she earned at St. Andrews University in St. Andrews, Scotland, which afforded her the opportunity for dancing in castles and teaching students throughout Europe.

Donna is survived by her son, Marc Pinckney; daughter, Mari Brill and husband Larry; her three grandchildren, Max Brill, Ian Brill and Ninel Pinckney; her sister, Patricia Peterson and brother in-law Gordon Peterson; her nephew Erik (Michelle) Peterson and nieces Kari (Patrick) Coronado and Kristen (Drew) Dougherty; and Sabine Gruss (adopted daughter) whom she met when Sabine came to Santa Barbara from Lohr, Germany as an English exchange student and lived with Donna; along with an extended family of cousins, nieces and nephews and many friends from around the world who will miss her dearly.

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