Curling world mourns loss of Donna Statzell

June 04, 2018, 7:32 p.m. (ET)

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Donna Statzell, a longtime curling official. She passed away on May 30, 2018, as a result of a brain injury. 

Donna was a USCA curling official for more than 25 years – if your club had an officiating course, most likely Donna taught it.  She was a Level 4 USCA official – the highest level for officiating in the U.S. – and  has been the National Course Conductor for Level I and II umpires for the past five years. She was Director of Institutional Research and Interim Academic Dean – Business at Hennepin Technical College in Hennepin, Minn.

Donna umpired at national, regional and local championships as well as four Olympic Winter Games, including Salt Lake City 2002, Torino 2006, Vancouver 2010, and Sochi 2014.  Most recently, Donna served as Deputy Chief Umpire at the 2018 World Men’s Curling Championship in Las Vegas. In addition, Donna was involved in the writing of the Chief Umpire Manual for the World Curling Federation and the United States.

“I find it hard to put into words all that she has truly done to improve the quality of officiating in the sport of curling. Donna was one of the authors of the current national officiating training program and was working on developing a course for Level III officials at the time of her passing.  She also served on the Officiating Advisory Group, which is a group of high level officials who advise the national organization on Officiating topics and develop training materials for chief umpires,” said Kim Nawyn, Director of Growth and Development, USA Curling.

“Donna was the consummate professional whenever officiating, instructing and interacting with others in her various roles with USA Curling. More importantly, she was a caring person passionate about what she is doing. She will be sorely missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with Donna’s family and many, many friends around the world,” said Rick Patzke, Chief Executive Officer, USA Curling.

No memorial service is planned at this time. Donations can be made in Donna’s name to the St. Vincent De Paul Society.  Her sister, Judy Cragun, would be happy to assist with those donations, if necessary.

Judy Cragun

4425 E. 200 S.

Lebanon, IN 46052