Beloved wife and mother, Donna Marie Graham, 88, of Marshalltown, IA, passed away on Sunday, May 6, 2018, at Southridge Specialty Care in Marshalltown. Funeral services will be 10:00 a.m., Thursday, May 10, 2018, at First United Methodist Church, 202 West Main Street Marshalltown. Visitation will be from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 9, 2018, at Anderson Funeral Homes, 405 West Main Street in Marshalltown. Interment will be in Riverside Cemetery, Marshalltown. Online condolences may be sent to www.andersonfhs.com.
Donna was born in Manilla, IA, on March 19, 1930, and moved to a farm near Harlan, IA, when she was three years old. She graduated from Harlan High School, attended Simpson College, and graduated from Northern Iowa with a BA in Education and Art. She met her husband, Leslie Graham, in Kirkman, IA, where they were both teaching school. They married on June 10, 1951, at the Methodist Church in Harlan. After teaching in Manson, IA, they moved to Marshalltown in 1957. Donna taught art at several elementary schools and Anson Middle School while her husband, Leslie, taught advanced math at Marshalltown High School. They had three children, Melody Sue, Paula Ann, and Brenton Todd. Donna was a long-time member of the First United Methodist Church. She served on many committees in the church, including Legislative Chair for the 3rd District. Donna was a past president of the Central Iowa Art Association, served on the boards of Churches United for Compassion and Concern, and American University Women, Kappa Delta Pi. She was an international honor society member in education, was active in political parties, Women's political Caucus, and the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) committee. Donna taught art classes at the YWCA, Fisher Community Center, and Adult Education. She served as a Girl Scout Leader and Cub Scout leader, as well as 4-H leader. Donna was a substitute teacher for many years in the Marshalltown Community School District and surrounding area schools. Her most memorable service was to the State PTA board of Managers where as Reflection Chair had 17 national winners in art, music, literature, and photography. As a lobbyist for PTA, she was successful in programming and passing the State Immunization Law. Donna's numerous hobbies, which highlighted her creative and imaginative spirit, included ceramics, oil painting and doing art projects with her children and grandchildren. Donna also enjoyed traveling and was very proud that her family visited every state except Hawaii and Alaska. Donna's dearest wish was granted by traveling to Europe with Leslie in 2001.
Donna is survived by her husband of almost 67 years, Leslie Graham, resident of the Iowa Veterans Home; daughter Melody (Richie) Wolfe, of Lucas, TX, daughter Paula Graham, of Marshalltown, and son Brenton (Katie) Graham, of Clive, IA; grandchildren: Courtney and Brian Wolfe and Jay and Erica Graham; sister Charlene (Tom) Johns, of Omaha, NE; and brother John (Svetlana) Hemminger, of Tampa, FL; sister-in-law Helen Olsen, of Minnesota; as well as numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Anna Pauline and John McKinley Hemminger and brother Ronald Hemminger.
Dear Leslie and Family,
Our sincere sympathy on the passing of Donna. We have fond memories of years of activities at First Church as well as PTA, Art Assoc. classes, Potluck Friends, and more with the Graham’s.
We are currently house sitting for our son & daughter-in law in California, so we will be unable to attend the services. Please know that we will be with you in spirit, thoughts and prayer throughout this difficult time.
Jerry and Elaine Harms
My sincerest condolences to Mr.Leslie Graham on the passing of his wife,Donna,and to the rest of the family on the loss of their mother and grandmother.I don't recall meeting Mrs. Graham,but I'm sure she shared her husbands' passion, professionalism and dedication to the education of students throughout her career.I am forever indebted (as are thousands of their students) for their service to their communities and for their commitment to education.With great respect,Larry Daniels MHS '72
Our sincere condolences to Mr. Graham and the entire family. Donna was a wonderful lady with a great laugh. My parents cherished your friendship. I think of Donna and Mr. Graham every time I open the book of recipes they gave us as our wedding gift, which happens frequently.
Thoughts and prayers to all of you for comfort at this difficult time.
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