NORTH JACKSON, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – “Our dear mother, Donna Jean Shrader Von Schwarz, 85, passed on to Heaven on Friday, September 2 , 2022, with her devoted husband, Karl, by her side.”

Donna was born to Richard “Dick” Shrader and Augusta “Gusty” Ebert Shrader, on March 14, 1937. Donna’s father died when she was young and Donna grew up as an only child.

Donna attended Jackson-Milton High School and was a very good student with excellent penmanship. She was in the chorus, band, minstrel, rifle club, May court and dance, prom committee and excelled as a majorette for the Blue Jays.


While in high school as a freshman, she met the love of her life, Karl R. Von Schwarz. They were married June 24, 1956 and remained married for these last 66 years.

Donna was a traditional homemaker and was a wonderful mother and wife for the last seven decades. She especially made all the holidays very memorable for her family, cooking wonderful homemade meals and deserts that filled the decorated home with aroma and delicious goodies. She worked hard to make and select special presents for her family. Donna encouraged and supported her children in all their endeavors and almost never missed her children’s games, even though at one point she had four Blue Jay children playing games in the same week, while at the same time caring for her elderly mother.

With a very active family to raise, Donna basically ran a shuttle service, laundromat and a 24-hour diner, ensuring her active family was not only where they needed to be, in proper uniform but had a hot meal waiting for them when they got home.

As Donna’s children began to leave the nest, she and Karl opened a successful antique business, “Buckeye Tree” in North Jackson, which they ran together for two decades. Donna and Karl enjoyed going to auctions and touring the countryside to find unique historical items for their store. Donna was not only an expert picker but managed the daily operations of the store and was an exceptional bookkeeper for the business.

Donna lived on Gladstone Road in North Jackson her entire life, albeit in four different homes. She moved from her childhood farm home when she and Karl married, and built their first home by hand, a small ranch home on the farm land. As their family grew, they again built another larger home by hand, on the same land, but this time the home was raised by the whole family, with weekly chores for the children. And finally, just down the road, they built their retirement home together.

During their retirement years, Donna and Karl became snowbirds and had a second home in Florida, spending their winters in the sunshine with a great group of friends.

Donna enjoyed decorating, arts and crafts and became very good at making jewelry. Through the years, she made drapes, clothes and decorations for the home and for gifts. With her health failing, Donna made a complete set of beautiful handmade bracelets for all her daughters, daughters-in-law and granddaughters as a family keepsake.

One of Donna’s favorite things to do was a shop-till-you-drop day with her daughters and granddaughters – a day full of shenanigans, laughter and love, as the ladies would sneak off with the credit cards and search every rack in every store in the area for those perfect fashion garments for the upcoming season.

In her later years, Donna battled several severe illnesses courageously and was a remarkable fighter, with Karl right by her side every minute.

When Karl and Donna were teenagers, Karl decided not to leave North Jackson for college because he didn’t want to take a chance on losing Donna as she completed high school and he stayed right by her side for 70 years. Daughter, Karla and granddaughter, Karly, were also relentless in Donna’s daily care, supported by an exceptional group from Southern Care, Heather, Brandy, Jason and Steven.

Donna was preceded in death by her mother and father and youngest son, John.

She is survived by her loving husband, Karl; sons, Richard and wife, Tammy and Mark and daughter, Karla Gibbs and husband, Mark; nine grandchildren, Amy, Lindsay, Lacey, Karl, Mark S., Christina, Mark C., Brian and Karly; along with 18 great-grandchildren.

The family will be holding a celebration of life at a later date to be announced.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to your favorite animal rescue organization, as Donna was also a lifelong lover of animals.

Professional arrangements were handled by Higgins-Reardon Funeral Homes, Jackson-Milton Chapel.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Donna Jean (Shrader) Von Schwarz, please visit our floral store.

A television tribute will air Wednesday, September 14 at the following approximate times: 6:43 a.m. on WYTV, 9:32 a.m. on WKBN, 10:58 a.m. on FOX and 8:12 p.m. on MyYTV.