Donna Kay (Harmes) Ray, age 77, passed away quietly December 27, 2016 in Maryville, Mo. where she had been living at Village Care since 2009. A service was held at the Fairfax United Methodist Church on Friday, December 30 at 10:30 a.m. Interment followed in English Grove Cemetery.
Donna Kay Harmes was born September 12, 1939 in Maryville, Mo. to Dollie Elizabeth (Burke) and Fredrick Walter Harmes of rural Fairfax, Mo. Donna Kay’s birth brought joy to a family that had endured the death of their eldest son, Eugene Laverne and the long years of the Great Depression earlier in the same decade. Donna Kay enjoyed the country life with her parents and much older brother, Wilfred Lee. She loved the family dogs including her own rat terrier, Peawee, attended church at Rupe’s Grove Methodist and grade school at Irish Grove School. In the early 1950’s the family moved into Fairfax where Donna Kay graduated from high school in 1957. She attended college at Central Missouri State University where she made many friends and graduated in 1960 with a BS in Education and Vocational Home Economics. She had become a wonderful cook, musician and a talented seamstress. On June 15, 1963, Donna Kay and Marion Jerome Ray, also of Fairfax, were united in marriage and made their home in Dunlap, Ia. Later they moved to Monmouth, IL for a time before moving back to Fairfax in the mid 1970’s. In the mid 1980’s the couple moved to the Platte Woods area of Kansas City north, later moving back to Fairfax in 2003.
Between teaching assignments, Donna tried her hand at other professions including county extension agent, interior decoration, Sunshine Sewing & Alterations and developing a packaged biscuit mix called Delight Biscuits.
Donna truly excelled as a teacher where she offered a fun learning experience for practical life skills. She taught vocational home economics at schools in Belton, Fairfax, and Smithville, Mo. and Dunlap, Iowa She was honored as the Iowa Vocational Economics Teacher of the Year in 1970 and received the Christa McAuliffe Outstanding Teacher Award while she was at Smithville near the end of her career.
Donna is preceded in death by her parents, husband, brothers, sister-in-law Kathleen Harmes and nephew William F. (Bill) Harmes.
She is survived by a niece, Nita Harmes of Kansas City, Mo., Bill’s family Patricia (Noel) Harmes of Excelsior Springs, Mo., a great niece Annie (Harmes) Weaver, also of Excelsior Springs and great nephews Robert Harmes of Liberty and Michael (Amanda) Harmes of Kansas City and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews in the Ray and Harmes families.
Memorial contributions are suggested for the English Grove Cemetery Association or the Alzheimer’s Association (www.alz.org/donate).