Donna Lee Pollock

8/29/1949 - 4/2/2024


Donna Lee Pollock, passed peacefully at home in Irondale on Tuesday April 2nd after a short tussle with cancer with her beloved daughter Heidi and dear friend Mardee by her side. Born August 29, 1949, to Allie Love Brown, she lived a very full and graceful 74 years. She was the widow of Matt Pollock, who passed away in a fishing accident in 1996, a wonderful partner and adventure mate for so many years.

She is survived by her daughter, Heidi Eisenhour, and son-in-law, David, two sisters Bobbie Gittleson and Suzy Holland and their families and her sisters in law Susan, Laura and Zoe Pollock and their families.

Donna, Matt and Heidi moved to Irondale in 1981 in search of a new beginning and to be closer to the Alaska salmon trolling grounds. Donna and Matt fished the waters of California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska for troll caught salmon, long-line albacore and gillnet caught herring. It was an adventurous life grounded in friendships and the garden just outside their door. Donna took to gardening avidly - drawing plant people to her, and vice versa in the last 30 years of her life. Her garden is a testament to this love.

The outlines of her life were colored in vibrantly by the relationships shared and adventures taken - on land and sea - with her chosen family over the decades and into the last days of her life - Alan Maskin, Brian McLaughlin, Duane West, Jim Prince, Mardee Stadshaug, Amy, Kinnan, Lyla and Alice Murray, Andy and Mira Prince and Wren McLaughlin, Darwin Alonso and Laurel Sercombe, Peggy McDonald and Dennis Montgomery and their girls, Heidi Bloedel, Amy Grondin, Greg Friedrichs, Nora Petrich, Andy Reece, Kellene Mart, Sadie Hadley, Sage and Gila Goodwin, April, Joe and Ocean Smith, Victoria Gilligan, Phil Vogelzang and Katy McCoy - and her west coast fishing family represented lately by visits with Mike Zucker and Karen Walsh.

She had a sea of friends collected along the path of her spirited and authentic life who could not all be listed here without the paper printing an extra page, but we do want to share this poem written for Donna by Heidi about 30 years ago because it sums up so much about who she was and how she lived and loved.


Shiny scales shaken off the days catch

reflect the last rays of sun

the low lying light

dripping of the page of the Pacific

shimmering on the backs of your nimble hands

Over a hundred fish cleaned today

and now in a calm harbor

which holds shallow rolling lumps of milky glacier water

the swell

we stare into the dark forest at the edge of the shore

watching the pale glow of a crimson sunset

paint the rocky beach

Moments like these are laced together by your life

Which you have lived steadily


like a monks half grinning gaze

And for all of my years on the planet

I have lived by the warm glow of your sweetness

which lies trapped

under the soft rosy skin of your cheeks

drawing people to you

A glow that has inspired butterflies

my eyelashes

to land on your nose

planting dozens of kisses

to bloom in the rest of our Springs

into images

Two ladies walking hand in hand

yours strong and graceful

from decades of sea spray and sun

two ladies side by side

cleaning glittering scales of light

at the end of a long day on the grounds

you and I

together on a long stretch of open road

marveling at rainbow hillsides

forever more than Fairweather friends

She shared gratitude recently for the loving care of her friends, nurses and doctors - especially Heidi who was by her side the past two months, the amazing team at Jefferson County Hospice (especially ‘Kimberly’), Dr. Phil Vogelzang who didn’t mince words and made the path ahead as clear as it could be, her dear friend Duane who tended to her and her amazing garden, Victoria Gilligan who always brought a smile to her face and her friend and neighbor Kellene who shared her loving touch and wisdom - up to the very end. In fact her last words just moments before slipping away and after accepting a last sip of water, were ‘Thank you Mardee.’

In memory of Donna, do something good for our planet, nice for yourself - shop at the farmers market for your groceries this week, take yourself out for a nice meal, plant something new in your garden and tend it with love, keep that old car running or hang your laundry out to dry instead of throwing it in the dryer. If you really want to make a contribution somewhere in Donna’s honor the most fitting place would be ‘Friends of Jefferson County Library’. That was one of her very favorite places.