Donna Westmoreland Grundberg, 57, of Brentwood, Tenn., went to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Oct. 6, 2020, after a courageous and awe-inspiring battle with pancreatic cancer.
Words cannot possibly convey the loss felt by her family, friends, or community. Donna was truly a servant leader, who poured her heart and soul into her relationships and making the world a better place for all who knew her. Donna was a woman of great faith, and loved spending time at Brentwood Baptist Church, as well as with several Bible study groups she attended with her husband and her friends.
Above all, Donna dedicated her life to her family, getting involved in the schools and the community, and was an inspiration and role model to her husband, her children, and the entire community in which she served. She and her husband Jim raised four amazing children: Ryan, Drew, Eleanor and Joe. She approached mothering with an incredible fierceness — ensuring that each of them will carry on her legacy as strong, intelligent, and loving individuals who were empowered by Donna to forge their own unique paths in the world.
The first thing people think of when remembering Donna is her megawatt smile and sparkling eyes that would light up every room. She was quick to laugh and exuded constant positivity. Even more important, Donna was generous with her time and an incredible listener who made all who met her feel heard and appreciated. She had the ability to meet someone and make them feel like they were the only other person in the room. She was incredibly intelligent and witty, yet humble and accepting of all opinions and perspectives. She could debate your opinion but would never judge. She was an avid reader of both fiction and nonfiction and enjoyed participating in book groups throughout the years.
Donna had a passionate love of the outdoors, devoting time every day for exercise, typically with friends, and she ran marathons around the country. Sometimes she would even run, hike, and walk all in the same day with three different friend groups, and would always stay back to encourage the slowest person.
Born in Atlanta, Georgia on July 7, 1963, Donna was raised in Palo Alto, Calif., where she attended elementary and high school. She went on to graduate from Stanford University, and then moved to Washington, D.C. where she had a great time exploring the city and working at the Smithsonian. After moving to Chicago in 1989, Donna met her husband Jim and they started their family before moving to San Diego in 1994, finally settling in Brentwood in 2000.
Donna loved her most recent employment as a special needs teaching assistant at Woodland Middle School in the Williamson County School District. Even though she downplayed her job, she had a profound impact and was honored as the employee of the year in 2018 for her selfless love and caring of the kids, and her tireless support of parents, teachers, and fellow workers.
She is survived by her husband of 29 years, Jim, and their four children; Ryan (Christine) of Atlanta, Drew (Brooke) of Salt Lake City, Eleanor, and Joseph, of Brentwood Tennessee; her parents, Don and Leta Westmoreland of Birmingham; sister, Leigh Dowe (Kenny) of Dallas; and brother Wes (Cindy) of Milton, Georgia. She will also be profoundly missed by her father-in-law, Art Grundberg of Sun City Center, Florida; brother-in-law, Scott (Jane) of Edwards, Colorado; sisters-in-law, Sue of Brooklyn, New York, and Julie of Denver, Colorado; as well as many nieces, nephews and countless friends who are devastated by her loss. Donna was preceded in death by her maternal grandparents, Sidney and Eleanor Smith of Monroe, Louisiana; paternal grandparents, Thelma and Otis Westmoreland of Birmingham; and Jim’s mother, Ruth Grundberg, of Arlington Heights, Illinois.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Brentwood Baptist Church Special Needs Ministry 7777 Concord Road, Brentwood, TN 37027. The family is also looking to establish a future memorial fund for pancreatic cancer research.