Donna Lu Conover Jones

PALM DESERT, CALIF. – Services for Donna Lu Conover Jones, 87, of Palm Desert, Calif., will be at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, at Hope Lutheran Church in Palm Desert, Calif.

She died Aug. 1, 2021, in Palm Desert, Calif.

Donna was born Feb. 13, 1934, in Holstein to Rosina and Harold (Cac) Conover. She grew up in Holstein as an only child. She spent many days in the gym while in high school, playing basketball.

Her varsity team played in the Iowa girls’ basketball tournament. She was also a member of the marching band.

After high school graduation, she attended the University of Iowa to pursue her bachelor of science in nursing degree. She graduated with her BSN in 1956. While attending the University of Iowa, she met many lifelong friends in the Gamma Phi Beta sorority.

She also met her future husband, Marion Jones, at a fraternity/sorority function. They married Sept. 4, 1955, in Holstein and celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary in 2020.

Upon graduation, she began employment as a pediatric nurse instructor at St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids. From that time on, she continued to renew her nursing license and kept it active until 2018.

She had three daughters: Brenda Sue, Linda Rene and Kirsten Ann. Donna Lu was a stay-at-home mother before joining her husband in their luggage and leather goods stores in Iowa.

With a passion for good food and a desire to get into the restaurant business, Donna Lu and Marion opened Aunt Maude’s in Ames in 1975 and, two years later, Mimm’s in Cedar Rapids.

Her summers were spent at Lake Okoboji while her daughters were growing up, where she cultivated a love for lake living. She and her daughters spent their summers there from 1972-1987.

Because the cold winter months got long and longer, Donna Lu and Marion moved to Santa Barbara, Calif., in 1987. There, she opened and ran the Santa Barbara Baggage Company, until her retirement. Donna Lu and Marion moved to the Avondale Golf Club in Palm Desert, Calif., to retire in 2004.

Because of her love of nursing, she volunteered at Eisenhower Medical Center in the Delores Hope Building, greeting and registering patients for various medical procedures. She was an active member at Hope Lutheran, Palm Desert and a 10-year member of the Altar Guild.

Donna Lu is survived by her husband, Marion; two daughters: Brenda and Kirsten; and her grandchildren: Michelle (John) Nail, Eric Bremicker, Rachel Bremicker, and Cole, Sophie, Savannah and Scarlett Donaldson. A great grandchild is expected in October.

She was preceded in death by her parents and her daughter, Linda.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Hope Lutheran Church, 45900 Portola Ave., Palm Desert, Calif., 92260, or the School of Nursing, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.