Chapter 1 - Wife's family

This is a picture of my son Richard Henry Mendenhall and me Donna Jean Bowman on October 1981.

Our Family

This book starts out with me and my name is Donna Jean Bowman. I was born on May 29, 1949 in the Salem clinic in Salem, Ohio. I grew up on an acre of land that my dad's parents gave to him. My dad's parents lived next door on a big farm. We lived about a mile and a half west of Lisbon, Ohio on State Route 30.

I met Richard Henry Mendenhall while roller skating at Boardman Rollercade in Youngstown, Ohio. Richard Henry Mendenhall was born on October 14, 1949 at the North Side Hospital in Youngstown, Ohio. Rich and I got married at the United Presbyterian Church in Struthers, Ohio on August 17, 1973k. Rich's parents are Raymond Richard Mendenhall and Myrtle Elanora Pletcher. My parents are Fred Leland Bowman and Hilda Mae Pugh.

We had a son by the name of Richard Henry Mendenhall, Jr. on June 17, 1979 at the St. Elizabeth Hospital in Youngstown, Ohio. We call him Richie. Rich and I bought a home at 4143 Dobbins Road, Poland, Ohio 44514.

I found out that Rich had been seeing two or three women at a time and so I filed for divorce on April 16, 1992. I don't know how long he has been doing this but I figure it went on most of our married life. Rich made this into a very ugly divorce.

Rich attacked me at our home on October 12, 1992, spraining my left elbow. I called the police and all they could do was make Rich leave for the night. Two days later I went to the Struthers City Hall and pressed charges against Rich. He ran from the police that night and hid because he had a friend on the police force that warned him. He called the police station and told them that he would be at the Struthers City Hall in time for his arraignment the next day. The next day Rich tried to intimidate the judge and the judge didn't like it. So the judge put a restraining order on Rich until the divorce was final. He also put Rich on probation for four months starting in March. If Rich harassed or hurt me in any way then he would go to jail right then and there. He left me alone after that.

Rich moved in to a house on 63 Creed St., Struthers, Ohio 44471 with his mistress Patricia Amy Norris and her son George; in January of 1993. On May 1, 1993 Rich and Amy had a baby girl by the name of Sara Elizabeth.

We went to divorce court on June 29, 1993. We settled everything out of court between the two lawyers. Then we went into the court room so that Judge McNally could go over everything and make it legal and make sure we really agreed to everything. Rich took his mistress and his kid that he had with her in to the court room and the first thing that the judge did was to throw his mistress and his kid out of the room. Rich kept blowing up and screaming at the judge every time the judge would say something that we agreed to. Half way through Rich really blew up and scared the judge half to death with his behavior. So the judge called a guard into the court room. At the end Rich got up and walked out before the judge was done. That's when I was asked a few questions and my witnesses were called up front and were asked questions too. Then the judge announced that he granted me my divorce.

Richie and I are allowed to live in the house at 4143 Dobbins Road, Poland, Ohio until Richie graduated from high school in June of 1997. The judge signed our divorce papers on July 29, 1993 and made it final.

In August of 1997 Rich bought my half of our home at 4143 Dobbins Road, Poland, Ohio and Richie and I moved out in September of 1997. Richie moved in with his grandparents in Struthers. I moved into Boulevard Club Apartments at 7059 West Blvd., Boardman, Ohio. There were four buildings and I lived in the front one that you come to from St. Rt. 224. Jim lived in the one behind me.

On the next page is the announcement that we were divorced. It was in
the Vindicator newspaper on August 11, 1993.

This is Jim Edward Onuska and me Donna Jean Mendenhall on August 7, 1999.

I was sitting on a bench the next summer with friends that I made there, that lived there too, and Jim came walking by on his way home from work. Everyone told me how wonderful he was. Than at the end of August a friend by the name of John introduced Jim to me. We really hit it off right from the start. We just wanted to be friends but we became much more. Everyone knew before us. The following May around my birthday we finally stop fighting the feelings and found out that we were in love. Jim proposed to me in October and we got married on January 20, 2000.

In June of 2000 we moved to 2230 S. Raccoon Road, Apt.111, Austintown, Ohio.

In May of 2001 my right eye swelled up and hurt real bad. An eye doctor from near home took us to the emergency room at St. Elizabeth Hospital. By that time I had lost my sight in that eye. It took them until after Christmas before they found out that it was Breast Cancer. The Cancer had spread to my right eye and into my hip bones.

It's been a long hard road. It's now April of 2003 and the Chemo I went through nearly destroyed my heart. I'm building it back up slowly and the tumor in my breast is gone. They used hormone pills after chemo to shrink down the tumor. I still have the Cancer in my hip bones and am going through treatments to kill that until next year. I just might beat it.

It is May of 2004 and I just found out that I am in Remission. It is a miracle. The Doctor told me that it was incurable.

It is now August of 2005 and I have been going through treatments since April for my bones. My bones are deteriorating from the Chemo that I went through. The treatments are supposed to help my bones to get strong and healthy again.

-- Donna passed away at 4:50 p.m. on Friday, September 3, 2010. A memorial service will be held at 7 pm, Saturday, September 11, 2010 at the Eells-Leggett-Stauffer Funeral Home with the Rev. Gary Koerth officiating. Read the obituary here. --

My son, Richard Henry Mendenhall, Jr., married Naomi R. Lehman on Saturday, June 24, 2006 at Christ the Cornerstone Community Church at 853 County Road, West Salem, Ohio. They live in Ashland, Ohio. She is a daughter of John and Judy Lehman. Look for pictures of Richard and Naomi and a picture of Naomi and her mother Judy and her father John at their wedding below.


Donna and Jim - August 7, 1999

Our Wedding Day - January 21, 2000

Cook's Forrest, Pennsylvania - November 2002

Richard Henry Mendenhall - October 20, 1994