Obituary for Donna Garner
Ponca City Now - May 19, 2020 5:32 pm
Donna Maxine Garner
January 20, 1935 – May 15, 2020
Donna Maxine Garner, 85, passed away on Friday, May 15, 2020 in Sand Springs, OK. Donna was born to Henry and Evelyn (Webster) Currier on January 20, 1935. She was born in the home her grandfather built on the land he homesteaded in 1893. She lived there with her parents, grandparents and her six siblings until she married.
Donna attended Silver Hill rural school for two years. She then attended Deer Creek public schools, graduating in 1952. She participated in most activities, but basketball was her favorite. She was football queen her senior year of high school.
She did not want to go to college, however, her mother changed her mind by telling her she had to go one year. Entering college at Northern Oklahoma Junior College in September 1952 turned out to be a very exciting and happy time for Donna. She became the secretary and treasurer of the freshman class and she was a cheerleader. She worked for Jean Aber in her second semester as a library assistant. During her sophomore year, she was head cheerleader. She worked for Dean Harold as his student secretary and he encouraged her to continue her education in Elementary Education, which she did.
After graduating from Northern, she enrolled at Central State University (UCO) in 1954, then transferred to Southwestern State University in January 1955. She graduated in May 1956 with a degree in Elementary Education and a minor in business.
Donna married Lloyd Garner (her college sweetheart) on August 4, 1956 in the home where she was born. Lloyd and Donna began their married life and Donna began teaching second grade in Holdenville, OK. After her two daughters where born, Donna did not teach for three years. When they moved to Lamont from Covington, she taught sixth grade and had a little boy in March. Moving to Tonkawa the next year, she taught a third and fourth grade split class, business 2 ½ years, and taught grades one through four at Fountain Rural School for two years. Moving back into Tonkawa, she taught first or second grade until the fall of 1971. The family moved to Pawnee, where Donna taught first or second grade until the fall of 1980. She and Lloyd were offered jobs in Tonkawa, where they taught until their retirement in 1995.
Donna never applied for a job in her 35 ½ years of teaching. She was teacher of the year of the Tonkawa public schools in 1982-1983. She loved teaching and enjoyed her students of all ages. She was a member of OEA, NEA, and Rural Teacher’s Association in Grant, Kay, and Pawnee Counties. She held the office of treasurer in Kay County from 1966-67.
Throughout her teaching career, Donna was rewarded with many things from parents at the end of the school year. However, she was thanked by a former student, a mother, and a wife, for having taught her students how to type. Three of her previous students had joined the military service during Vietnam and had volunteered to be clerks, since they could type, and their family believed it had kept them from losing their lives. These boys, now men, were Bobby Brown, Dwayne Lindsey, and John Ramey, and she would talk about them from time to time, saying that she was “just doing her job teaching them to type”. She was very grateful that they told her those stories.
Donna was an accomplished seamstress. She learned the basics in high school and took a class in college. She sewed for herself and her two daughters until her girls married. She then took up quilting, where she made well over a hundred quilts in different sizes, giving them to family and friends. She loved designing her own quilts, some of which she gave to the historical society and public schools for raising funds. She designed these herself for the occasion: Teddy Bear Christmas, Peek-a-boo Halloween, T-quilt in Denim, and the State Champion Quilt, which brought $1400 in auction to the Alumni Association for college scholarships. This was quite a surprise to Donna, and it made her proud of her work.
She spent her summers taking her grandchildren (when young) to the Tonkawa swimming pool, traveling with Lloyd, and visiting relatives. In 1997, she and Lloyd took their first bus tour to Alaska. They were hooked. They would go on bus tours twice a year until 2006. They visited 49 states, most of Canada, and ten states in Mexico. They opted to go to Alaska twice and not to Hawaii.
Donna is survived by her children, Dani Zajac, Renee Tefertiller and her husband Jack, and Craig and his wife Jennifer, her grandchildren, Jackson Tefertiller and his wife Amber, Jaime Tefertiller and his wife Samantha, Rheanna Fagan and her husband Cody, Jesseca Reinartsen and her husband Eric, Lauren Zajac, Kristin McGee and her husband Andrew, Kasey Alcott and her husband Jordan and Ava Garner, two step grandsons, eleven great-grandchildren, sisters, Judy Green and her husband Donn and Dorma Kindle and her husband Bill, brothers, Tom Currier and his wife Joyce and Leon Currier, brothers-in-law, Melvin Garner and Ray Garner, as well as many nieces, nephews, and many friends.
Donna was preceded in death by her husband of 57 ½ years, Lloyd Garner, an infant daughter, Suzie, her parents, a brother and a sister.
Special friends are Beverly Smith, Vina Weiberg, Lois Waggoner, Gayle Kuchera, Anne Evans, Jobina Hodges, Nancy Appleman, Sharon Roth and Regona Klinger.
Those wishing to pay their final respects may do so at Trout Funeral Home in Tonkawa on Thursday, May 21, 2020 from 9am to 8pm with Donna’s family greeting friends from 6-8pm. A funeral ceremony will be held in the chapel at Trout Funeral Home of Tonkawa on Friday, May 22nd at 2:00 pm with burial to follow at Tonkawa IOOF Cemetery.
For both events, we will be limiting the total number of family and guests to 50 people. For those unable to attend the funeral ceremony, we will be providing a live stream of the event, which may be accessed through the www.troutfuneralhome.com website.
Arrangements are under the direction of Trout Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Tonkawa.
Source: Trout Funeral Home