Donna was born at Bethesda Naval Hospital and grew up in a Navy family throughout her father’s 20 year Navy career.
Donna is married to Admiral Bob Willard, Commander, U.S. Pacific Command. They met in 1973 following his graduation from the Naval Academy and were married in November 1974. Bob and Donna then moved to San Diego, California so that Bob could attend F-14 Tomcat flight training, and still claim California as home. They have three grown children, Jennifer, Bryan and Mark (sons are identical twins), and three beautiful grandchildren, Alexis, Carly and Noah.
While their children were growing up, Donna worked at various jobs within the Solana Beach, California School District, eventually becoming the Executive Secretary to the Superintendent of Schools. Most recently she worked intermittently for a DC-based defense contractor.
Donna has always been deeply supportive of her husband’s career and with Navy families, in particular. She has held numerous positions in spouse groups, and served as Ombudsman when Bob was a member of Navy Fighter Weapons School (Topgun). As a flag spouse, Donna was co-chair of the 2000 Navy-Marine Corps Ball in Washington, DC and served as the New Flag Officer Spouse Committee Secretary in 1999 and 2000. Besides volunteering her time to many organizations during this time, Donna also served on the Board of Naval Services Familyline. From 2006-2009 Donna served as the Senior Flag Spouse Advisor for the Command Spouse Leadership Course in Newport, Rhode Island. During the time her husband was Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet (2007-2009), Donna served on the board of the Armed Services YMCA and as a senior advisor to several spouse organizations. Donna currently serves on the boards of Hawaii Theatre Center and Hawaii Foodbank. In 2008 Donna had the honor of being named the ship sponsor of PCU CALIFORNIA (SSN 781).
Donna has relocated eight times since her husband became a flag officer in 1998, including three tours at the Pentagon, two tours in Japan, and three tours in Hawaii. Additionally, Donna travels extensively with her husband to foreign countries throughout the Pacific and cherishes the many memories and friendships she has made along the way.
For leisure Donna enjoys golfing, scuba diving, biking, walking, and reading.