Donna M. Kern

Donna M Kern

Oregon – Donna M. Kern passed away on the 20th of January 2022 at the age of 69 at Agrace Hospice Care in Fitchburg.

She was born on September 1, 1952, in Madison, Wisconsin, the daughter of Fred and Clara (Anhalt) Mayr.

Donna is survived by her husband Mark, of 47 years; daughters Katie Kern and Tracy Kern; brothers Jerry (Cheryl) Mayr and Gary (Diane) Mayr; grandchildren Logan and Ivy; and nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Donna was preceded in death by her parents and brother Lary Mayr.

Donna excelled in high school and graduated with honors from DeForest High School in 1970. She continued her education at the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater. She met her husband in a physics lab during her freshman year. Their first “date” was working together to finish a physics lab and solve physics problems. Donna excelled in college and graduated in 1974 earning a Bachelor of Science in Education with a double major in Physics and Math. Donna continued her education by attending the University of Wisconsin – Madison studying accounting. During this time, she became a badger football fan. She earned a Master of Science in Accounting with a health care emphasis and afterwards, she obtained a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license.

Upon attaining her CPA Donna pursued employment in private insurance and eventually moved on to public employment as an auditor for the Federal Government in the Department of Health and Human Services: Office of Inspector General. The purpose of her work was to confirm that various private and public entities were following the proper procedures for billing the federal government, including numerous Medicare and Medicaid related audits. The agency employing Donna was engaged in helping the government save money, imagine that.

During her time with the government, she moved up the government services ranking relatively quickly eventually reaching a high ranking in the Madison office where she remained throughout her career. She received recognition for her hard work and dedicated service during her tenure including Employee of the Month, two Inspector General’s Special Achievement Awards, and a special Inspector General’s Exceptional Achievement Award.

Among many passions pursued during her life, travel ranks at the pinnacle. Upon graduation from college the travel adventures started by exploring Wisconsin which quickly expanded to traveling weeks at a time to all states west of the Mississippi River. This included Hawaii, a state visited several times. Eventually several eastern states were explored. The travel passion expanded to Canada and several European countries. The highlight of her adventures was traveling to Antarctica which gave such joyful memories and the amazing opportunity to view numerous types of penguins up close. Just one frigid pole of the Earth was not enough, next up was traveling toward the North Pole reaching as far as the 80th parallel and visiting Iceland and Greenland along the way.

Unfortunately, a long illness of several years affected the later part of her life. The illness, however, did not dim her spirit or the pursuit of her passions that included some limited travel, nearly constant crocheting, counted cross-stitch, and knitting. No flat surface in the house went uncovered for very long, it would be covered by intricate doilies made by hand.

Family was another passion. Though hampered by illness, the strong expressed desire to survive long enough to experience the joy of grandchildren and their many birthdays helped propel the drive and deep a will to live far beyond her personal life expectation.

A special thanks to Dr. Peter Lee, Dr. Shannon O’Mahar, and nurse practitioner Christa Raymond.

The family prefers that flowers and other forms of remembrances to honor Donna be made as donations to the Christian Faith Moravian Church, DeForest; SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital, Madison; or to Agrace Hospice Care, Fitchburg.

A Memorial Service will be held on Thursday, January 27, 2022, at 11:00 A.M. at the Christian Faith Moravian Church, 805 E. Holum St, DeForest. A visitation is from 9:00 A.M. until 10:55 A.M. Thursday at the Church. A graveside service follows the church service at the Moravian Cemetery. A luncheon will follow the graveside service at the church. Masks are required at the church.

To view and sign this guestbook, please visit:

Ryan Funeral Home & Cremation Services

Windsor/DeForest Chapel

6924 Lake Road