Donna was joyfully reunited with family and friends in heaven on July 31, 2022. Donna was born Sept 5, 1935 to Miles and Maggie Falkenstien near Chetopa, Kansas. She grew up in the beautiful rural farming area of southeast Kansas, graduating from Labette County High School and Pittsburg State University. While at the University she met James Ward, a medical student from Pittsburg, and they married in June of 1956. Together they had four daughters and an ever-changing menagerie of beloved pets. After completing military service in Tacoma, Washington, the family settled in Belleville in 1961 and spent many happy years there.
Outside of her family, education was Donna’s great passion. She couldn’t wait to start school at age 4. She taught second grade in Leawood, KS for two years before staying home to care for her family. She later spent many years as a substitute teacher in the Republic County school system, and was the first director of the Belleville After School Program. She was so very proud of her daughters’ educational and professional achievements.
Donna was a member of the First United Methodist Church, PEO, Shakespeare, and several bridge clubs over the years. She reveled in every slam she bid and made, and her love of the game will be missed at the bridge table. She was an avid KU basketball fan, attending games as far away as Hawaii, Orlando and the Bahamas, and never missed them on TV. She enjoyed making travel memories with her family and friends, but thought there was no place better than her home in Kansas.
Donna was welcomed to heaven by her husband, oldest daughter Cindy, son-in-law Jay Skaggs, her parents and brother Richard, and so many good friends. She will be dearly missed by daughters Cathy Ward of Lincoln, NE, Caryl and Dave Geschwind of Rochester, MN, Connie and Doug Hulst of Englewood, CO; as well as her seven grandchildren, Jennifer Skaggs, Clayton and Sarah Skaggs, Samantha and Travis Boyett, Kate, Cole and Meg Geschwind, Jack Hulst, and so many cherished friends and neighbors.
A celebration of life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to the Republic County Hospital, Meadowlark Hospice, American Cancer Society, or the Methodist Church in c/o the funeral home.
Online condolences and information at www.bachelor-surber.com
Bachelor-Surber Funeral Home, Belleville, Kansas is in charge of the arrangements.