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Dawes, Donna Kay

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February 24, 1947 - October 21, 2015

Dawes, Donna Kay

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:

Arrangements under the direction of:
ARIA Cremation Service & Funeral Home
19310 Preston Road
Dallas, Texas 75252

To express your sympathy with a flower arrangement please contact our florist.


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Sharon Kyle

October 29, 2015 2:46PM

It's been over 25 years since I knew Donna in DALDLRES, but I remember her like it was yesterday. Her smile and positive attitude were infectious and turned every day around her to a beautiful day. Cherish the memories. She will be with you in spirit forever.

Ines and Johnnie Dudeck

October 29, 2015 12:27PM

Donna was truly a beautiful and caring woman. Our prayers are with your family. Rest in peace.

Gloria Umphress

October 29, 2015 8:49AM

Donna was surrounded by a soft light that touched all those around her. We were blessed by her presence with us at Delta. She has made the world a brighter place.

Shelia Jones

October 29, 2015 1:21AM

To the family, please remember God is in control. You may not have been ready for Donna to go but God said different. I remember good thoughts about Donna when we worked off Stemming. We were truly a family. I will truly miss Donna. She was always very kind.


Erie Stelly

October 28, 2015 6:34PM

May the memories comfort you in this time of grief. Donna's smile is an everlasting memory. Rest in peace.

Dallas Reservation coworker

Vickie Joubert-Smith

October 28, 2015 1:13PM

God has an angel ready and willing to work. It was a pleasure to work with you and your smile brighten the office. Blessing to your family.

Donna Leslie

October 27, 2015 4:56PM

RIP Donna Dawes, it was a pleasure to know and work with you for so many years. You fought a long and hard battle, praise Ron for being at your side through it all. You will always be remembered for your joyful heart.

Diane Starnes

October 27, 2015 3:13PM

I worked with Donna at the Customer Service Desk while she went through her first bout with cancer. She was a trooper and I'll always remember her as a friend. She gave me many recipes during those years. She will be missed.
God bless Ron and the family!

Kathleen Kelly

October 27, 2015 2:04PM

Donna was beautiful inside and out. God chose another angel for His heavenly choir.

Rita and Steve Millwee

October 27, 2015 11:30AM

Donna fought one of the most courageous and dignified battles we've ever seen. Beauty and grace under extreme circumstances. She will be missed.
In prayer...Rita and Steve

Cris Dally

October 27, 2015 10:51AM

Donna (and Family, My deepest sympathy to those you left behind. You were a fighter and a wonderful example of a loving, caring person. Our days at Delta were many and great. Your 'New Wings' have flown you to Peace and Glory.

Eulalia hallman

October 27, 2015 9:58AM

May Donna rest in peace. I worked with her a long time in res in DFW. My sympathy to her family.

Betty and Bob Mayfield

October 27, 2015 9:31AM

We were so sorry to hear of Donna's passing.
Donna was a special and unique person. She will be deeply missed by everyone who knew her. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and yours always.

Karen Elwonger

October 27, 2015 7:33AM

I had the pleasure of working with Donna in DL reservations and I remember her with a beautiful smile willing to help when needed. We wish Donna the peace and joy that surpasses our understanding and will pray for her family.

Debora Young

October 27, 2015 5:47AM

God Bless you Donna Dawes and your family. You touched so many lives in a kind caring manor. Your friends at Delta Air Lines love you and remember your sweet presence and quite nature.

Susan Ratcliff

October 26, 2015 5:59PM

Donna has taught us all how to fight cancer with grace and courage. Her cheerful spirit will be missed in the neighborhood. So glad our paths crossed!