Obituary Details

Dona Lee Eddy

(04/15/1943 - 11/27/1981)
Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 12/03/1981

Dona Lee Eddy

Dona Eddy, 38, who courageously lived with the pain of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis most of her life, died at the family ranch northwest of Keeline Friday, Nov. 27. Memorial service was conducted at Peet Mortuary Chapel Monday afternoon.

Dona Lee was born May 15, 1943, at Lusk to Larry and Arlene Eddy. At the age of three she had strep throat and when she was five an illness was diagnosed as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis which steadily crippled and confined her to an arthritic chair by the time she was 18.

Dona was only able to attend public schools for part of her education. She completed the first through fourth grades at Keeline School, completed the fifth and sixth grades with the Calvert Course and attended school every other day to complete the seventh and eighth grades. Her freshman, junior and senior years of high school were completed by correspondence courses through the University of Wyoming. Her sophomore year she was able to attend Niobrara County High School, and she graduated with the class of 1964 as a member of the national Honor Society. Dona accepted her diploma from her arthritic chair, and was designated the top handicapped student in the state for three quarters.

While attaining her elementary and high school education Dona was a member of 4-H completing 10 years. She won a trip to Denver in judging and was a top winner in the Style Review twice.

Dona lived at the family ranch for the next 12 years, and during that period became involved in the writing of a history of the residents of Niobrara County. The book, which is a project of the Niobrara Historical Society, has not yet been published. Baptized in the American Missionary Fellowship, Dona devoted much of her time to Christian work. She taught Bible and Sunday School classes.

In her early thirties, Dona moved to Mountain Towers Health Care Center in Cheyenne where she found a new freedom by having access to a motorized wheel chair. "It was as if she had been let out of prison - she could go where she wanted," her mother recalls.

In Cheyenne, Dona attended Laramie Community College, graduating with honors and an associate degree in sociology. "She got all over that campus in her power chair. I recall one day while visiting seeing her crossing campus, her hair flying wildly in the wind and that determined look on her face," said Mrs. Eddy.

While in Cheyenne, Dona spent her summers teaching courses in reality orientation at the health care center and interviewing in-coming patients. She was secretary-treasurer of the Intervarsity-Christian group.

In 1980 she attended the University of Wyoming for one semester before illness forced her to return to the ranch on December 19, 1980.

Delbert Dick and Henry Babis officiated at the memorial service. Music was provided by Cheryl Reese, organist and Carol Hammond who sang "Softly and Tenderly" and "Face to Face."

Interment was in the Douglas Park Cemetery, Douglas. Active bearers were Rita Koeplin, Cheri Reese, Karen Gaukel, Judy Bredthauer, Jan Bruegger and Phyllis Freeman.

Memorials were established to the American Missionary Fellowship and Manville Missionary Alliance.

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Dona Eddy

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