Donna Lee Huffaker

19520730 –


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On July 30, 1952, Wadena Lucille Johnson and Lawrence Edward Johnson introduced the world to Donna Lee Johnson, an amazing woman, a dedicated mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother and just a sweet and caring person. She moved away from her parents at 18 and married William Schneider that same year. Only a few years later on January 31, 1972, in Fallbrook, CA., she gave birth to her firstborn, Michael William Schneider, and a few years later Christine Ann Schneider followed on October 4, 1974, in Canoga Park, CA. Her husband, William, was a service member, first with the Marines and then with the Army and shortly thereafter they were stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado. In Colorado she became a single mother after she and William divorced. She never complained about the hardships that entailed; her children were her world, and providing a stable, comfortable home was always her first priority. In the early 80’s she met Douglas Lee Huffaker, also a service member with the U.S. Army, and gave birth on May 7, 1982, to the last of her three children Keith Douglas Huffaker. Donna and Douglas were married on New Year’s Eve of 1981 and were married until near the end of her life. Douglas was transferred to Giessen, Germany, and then to Fort Campbell, KY, before getting out of the Army and moving to Lubbock, Texas. All three of her children graduated from Frenship High School and moved on to productive lives, giving her a plentitude of proud moments. Mike and Christine blessed her with several grandchildren. Her life was about her family, and she was devoted to her children living a better life than the hardship fraught life of strife and struggle she had experienced. Nothing made her face light up quite as brightly as seeing the accomplishments of her children whether it was a job promotion or a college degree. She just wanted her family to be successful and happy. This quality of putting others first was a domineering aspect of her character throughout her life. Donna was a giver who never met a stranger. She adopted her children’s friends, her neighbors, and countless pets as her own, and once she claimed you, you were family to her. She could be stubborn and ornery, but she never let it outweigh her sweetness. She was a caring and tender-hearted woman who in later life would frequently help the nursing staff at Bender Terrace take care of the other patients. In short, she was mom, and not just to her biological children but for so many others. She was an amazing woman, full of love and goofy joy that infected everyone around her. You couldn’t stay unhappy long around her because she would always make you smile and laugh and forget what was troubling you. And that is exactly what she’d want now– less crying and more smiling because I know she is smiling down on us from heaven with her father and friends who preceded her. She would want her funeral to be a celebration of her life, filled with the happy memories she left all of us.


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