Celebrating a Lifetime Devoted to Service


DJ Phelps with her adopted father, Burton Winters

Donna (DJ) Phelps has been a proud member of Munson Medical Center’s Environmental Services family for nine years. In addition to her critical role in helping to keep the hospital clean and safe, DJ is known at Munson as a vibrant, active member of our community with a heart for spreading joy to those around her. A warm person with a musical soul, DJ sings the National Anthem at Veteran’s Day celebrations, plays the harmonica to bring cheer to those around her, and actively participates in Munson events of all kinds.

DJ comes from a long line of family members who answered the call to serve in our Nation’s armed forces — and she also answered that call.

DJ’s adopted father, Burton Winters, served from 1952 – 1971, first in the Army Air Corps and closing his career in the Air Force. Her dad made a career in flight, also spending 12 years working at the airport in Traverse City. “I was always with airplanes,” says DJ. DJ’s grandfather proudly served in the Army during World War I.

DJ enlisted at the age of 19, achieving the rank of SP4 Specialist for the US Army. In her years of service, she was stationed stateside in Oklahoma and Texas, and overseas in two locations in Germany. During her time overseas, she was grateful to have had an opportunity to meet German soldiers, spending some time learning about the ways in which their military trainings were the same, and different.

She served four and a half years with the Army before shifting her call of duty to supporting her family of four children (now ages 33-39).

DJ Phelps

DJ returned to a life of service when she joined Munson Medical Center nine years ago. Her greatest joy? Interacting with patients and doing everything she can to ensure their happiness. DJ consistently works to exceed expectations and provide exceptional experiences for her patients. Recently, she found herself starring as a real-life Goldilocks, as she cleaned multiple beds to help a patient find one that was ‘just right.’ Smiling, she shared, “We’re here to take care of them. That’s our job.”

DJ has her sights set on two adventures in the near future. The first – an all-female gathering of veterans in Washington DC. DJ’s military service was largely during a time of peace in our country, but she is looking forward to this opportunity to pay tribute to those who served in war time. “I keep thinking about the people who served, who were fighting… they are the heroes.”

Her next grand adventure – retirement. DJ plans to spend her retirement years continuing her devotion to the care and helping of others through teaching others to knit and crochet. She, no doubt, will still be likely to volunteer to appear at an event with her harmonica or the national anthem at the ready.

We salute and thank DJ, and all our veterans, for their years of military service and for continuing to choose to commit their lives to the care and service of others.