Donna Newman passed away Sunday morning the 16th of January. She was 94 years old. It doesn't matter how old a mom is, when her mortal life comes to an end, her children are never ready to give her up. We are no exception.
Mom was a fun person to hang out with. She loved nature. She saw beauty in the simplest roadside blossom, in a sunset, in a snowy field, in a single star.
She possessed a great sense of humor; she was able to laugh at herself, even under less than perfect conditions.
Donna faced life's challenges with courage and grace. It didn't matter what life took from her as she aged, she accepted it without complaint. She had a grateful heart and was always profusely thanking those people who played even the smallest role in making her life better. If you wanted to experience gratitude firsthand, all you really needed to do was to provide a service for Donna Newman. You would hear about what you did for her long into the future. Her gratitude never stopped.
Mom is the youngest child of Lloyd Jackson and Irma Griffin Jackson. She was the last surviving child of her parents, so it is a real treat for her to pass to the other side where she can have a reunion with all her siblings. But especially she was excited to be reunited with her husband, to whom she was married for 65 years. She missed him terribly.
For some couples it is difficult to imagine them being together for the eternities. For Donna and Lynn, it was unthinkable for them to be apart for any longer than the few short years that death separated them. They always were best friends. They did everything together. It didn't matter if they were painting one of their rental units, boating with their family at Lake Powell or Flaming Gorge, or anything else. They were always together. They never grew tired of each other's company.
Donna was famous for two things: 1) her rolls, and 2) her tomatoes. With those two things she made delicious bacon and tomato sandwiches. No food tasted better.
She was a surgery nurse at the LDS hospital in the avenues. She worked a double shift on the weekends so she could be at home with her children the rest of the week. Whenever mom went to work, the children knew what we were having for supper Saturday night: Campbell's Bean with Bacon soup. It was okay, though, because on Sunday night when she was back home we always ate roast beef and mashed potatoes with delicious gravy. . . and of course her tasty rolls that she was famous for.
Donna chose to be a nurse because when she was a small child she had to go into the hospital all by herself. She could not have any family visit her. She felt alone and frightened. But the nurses treated her with so much kindness that she decided then and there that she was going to be a nurse when she grew up. She entered the nursing program that the government offered as part of the World War II effort. She was in the last graduating nurses' class just before the war ended.
Mom loved her family unconditionally. She treated everybody with respect. She didn't judge. She was always the center of attention at family gatherings. Family members came to family gatherings specifically to see her. She is truly loved and will be missed.
Donna was preceded in death by her parents and three siblings, and her husband Francis (Lynn) Newman.
She is survived by her five children: Layne (Julie), Debbie (Gordon) Phelps, Val (Carol), Corey, Daniel (Bertha), sixteen grandchildren, thirty-three great grandchildren, one great, great grandchild.
A viewing will be held at the Anderson & Goff Mortuary in Draper, Utah on Tuesday, January 25th from 9:30-10:45 a.m. with the funeral service to follow at 11:00 a.m. Interment, Larkin Sunset Gardens.
The services will be live-streamed on the Anderson & Goff Mortuary Facebook page.