The incredible woman we called Mom, Grannie, Great Grannie and Great Ghee died on Sunday, October 24, 2021, at Community Hospital-Fairfax. She lived an incredible 94 years on Earth.
Donna was born on March 24, 1927, to Adam Henry “Lee” Laumann and Anna Lillie Klute Laumann on the family farm in Westboro, Missouri. She had fond memories of her childhood, attending South Dale School and St. John’s Lutheran Church, going to dances at the Farmers City Store, graduating from Tarkio High School in 1945 and beginning life in Rock Port a few months later.
Donna Lee wanted to attend college to become a fashion designer, however, when she learned her mother had enrolled her into a school to become a stewardess, she sent a postcard to her cousin in Rock Port, Missouri, and asked for a job at the bank. She began working as a teller at the Bank of Atchison County, now Bank Midwest, the Tuesday after Labor Day and spent the next 50 years there, working her way up to senior vice president before her retirement in 1995.
In 1947, she began dating Clyde Shineflew, an Army veteran who was working at a filling station. When he met her at the bank he told his father he would marry her, and he did. In 1950, he helped the sheriff catch cattle thieves and used the reward money to buy an engagement ring. They were married on September 1, 1950, at First Lutheran Church. To this union they welcomed daughters Diana Lynn on November 24, 1954, and Robin Kay on August 5, 1959.
She was always willing to lend anyone a hand and loved serving other people. As a member of First Lutheran Church, she was a Sunday School teacher to generations of preschoolers (you can still smell the homemade play dough, right?), served on the altar guild, church treasurer, sang in the choir and took care of the flower beds. She also oversaw the finances of her “little old ladies,” even as they became younger than she as well as preparing income taxes using the computer until she was 90 years old.
She loved sewing her entire life. Besides making her daughters’ dresses for all types of occasions, she also converted handkerchiefs into baby bonnets for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, quilted, and sewed dresses for angel babies in her later years.
She was a model of positivity and strength even as she was a caregiver for her father, battled and survived four types of cancer, or got annoyed with her rowdy daughters and grandchildren if they called her as she was trying to nap.
Donna’s legacy flows through her daughters, Diana White (Wayne) of Mound City, Missouri, and Robin Gaines (Gary) of Covington, Tennessee; sister, Ruth “Maxine” Laumann Lang (Bill) of Tarkio, Missouri; and grandchildren/great-grandchildren: Jason Gaines (Molly) Ryder and Lola of Denver, Colorado; Echo Leigh Day, Jaiden Leigh, Jaylen and Jenna Denmark and Jensen Day of Covington; Nicholas White (Patricia) Breonna Waterman, Vincent and Zane of Maryville, Missouri; Joseph “Tyrel” Gaines (Katie) Caiden and Khloe of Brighton, Tennessee; Ian White (Brandy) Mayson and Teagan of Mound City; and Ryne Gaines (Kelly) Caleb, Liam and Tatum of Munford, Tennessee; “Aunt Donna” to dozens of nieces and nephews; and a beloved friend to so many.
Donna is now reunited with her husband, Clyde, who died in 1997; companion, Ralph Gayler, who died in August 2021; her parents, Lee and Lillie; sisters, Hermie DeBoer and Lola Fast; many of the Laumann and Klute cousins; special friends, Bob and Marilyn Chapple; and other friends she’s missed over the years.
The family wishes to thank the staff at Tiffany Heights in Mound City for the care and friendship shown to her over the last two years.
A funeral service was held Saturday, October 30, 2021, at First Lutheran Church, Rock Port, conducted by Rev. Franz Brandenburg. Interment was at Greenhill Cemetery, Rock Port. Memorials may be directed to Rock Port Senior Center. Online condolences may be left at www.minterfuneralchapels.com. Services were under the direction of Minter Funeral Chapel, Rock Port.