Donna Kay Dawes passed away on Oct. 21st, 2015 at 4 p.m. in her home with loved ones present after an extended, valiant and brave battle with cancer. Donna was born on Feb. 24th, 1947 in Carrier Mills, Illinois to Wayne Lanham and Romayne Crawford Lanham. She is survived by her husband of 40 years Ron, her son Ryan, his wife Heidi, nieces Rhona Pinkney, Becky Schmelzer, & Kim Sampson and five cousins. That’s the basic factual synopsis but Donna was so, so much more to those who knew and loved her.
To Ron she was a wife, lover, confidant, advisor, travel companion, and best friend. She was mother, mentor, and guidepost to Ryan. She was caring, dependable, loving, thoughtful, and considerate to those fortunate to have her as a friend and co-worker.
She worked at Braniff Airlines until it’s bankruptcy then 18+ years at Delta Airlines in reservation sales, cabin service, baggage handler, ticket counter, and flight attendant. Donna was willing to do whatever it took to help the company she loved succeed, support her co-workers, and provide service to its customers. She retired from Delta in 2001.
Following a few years where she partnered with Ron in an event photography business, Donna began work for the Plano Police in the Records department. She took great pleasure in helping the public and great pride in the department. She was forced to retire from the PD by her illness.
Donna loved to serve the public. She served six years on the Little Elm School Board and two years on the Board of Directors of her homeowners association where she also organized several National Night Out Against Crime events. She served five years as a volunteer in the Citizens Assisting Plano Police program.
Donna was a warm, outgoing, extroverted friend always ready to reach out and help others or pick up and head out for a fun road trip. She was a serious foodie who loved to cook and serve her family and friends. She created the wedding cakes for several of her friends. Donna also loved fishing for the challenge, the calm enjoyment of it, and the preparation & cooking of the catch.
Donna was a big Jimmy Buffett fan. She loved his songs and over the years, we had many wonderful times at his concerts and tailgate parties. We will close with this quote from one of Jimmy’s books:
Grief is like the wake behind a boat. It starts out as a huge wave that follows close behind you and is big enough to swamp and drown you if you suddenly stop moving forward. But if you do keep moving, the big wake will eventually dissipate. And after a long time, the waters of your life get calm again, and that is when the memories of those who have left begin to shine as bright and as enduring as the stars above.
Jimmy Buffett – A Salty Piece of Land
We will all remember Donna’s shining star forever.
Service will be held at 3:00 pm Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015
St. Andrews United Methodist Church
5801 W. Plano Parkway
Plano, TX 75023
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the American Cancer Society in Donna’s name at this link: www.cancer.org
Arrangements under the direction of:
ARIA Cremation Service & Funeral Home
19310 Preston Road
Dallas, Texas 75252