Donna Rae (Graham) Van Dorn was born on August 11, 1934 in Winlock, Lewis, Washington. She passed away on August 21, 2023 in Vernal, Uintah, Utah and returned peacefully to her Heavenly Father.
Donna was born to Raymond A. Graham and May B. Graham. She was the oldest daughter of 3 children. She lived in Washington State most of her life. She was fortunate to have Hank Ovens as her long-time companion. They had a good life together. She was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which she served in various positions. She loved working with the youth and served in the Primary and Young Women's programs. She went on various temple caravans with the youth. She had a real love for family history. She was always trying to fit the puzzle pieces together of her ancestors. She loved reading the history of the United States. She would travel to various areas to see where the history happened, like our early history on the Eastern Coast to the travels of Lewis and Clark on the west coast and various foreign countries. She was organized and loved to scrapbook. She would make endless scrapbooks of her travels and the visits of her grandchildren. She wouldn't just make one book...each grandchild had to have their own copy.
She loved people and was extremely social with so many friends; I don't think she knew a stranger. She loved her family and would travel with them to all parts of the world, but she loved returning home and having us come to visit and stay awhile. She would open her home to us no matter when we showed up nor how long we stayed. She would have a calendar of events to attend from fairs to Chuck E Cheese to splash parks, but let's not forget the work. She would have jobs that she would want completed...ALL OF US KNOW THE LISTS!!! It ranged from weeding to painting to repairing and don't forget the cleaning, Whew! Then she would pay the grandchildren for their time by taking them school shopping. Now that was an adventure in itself. After all was complete, we would have a huge family party with food, swimming and lots of cousins. She was a true treasure, someone who loved unconditionally.
She loved to garden. She had roses on the side of her home that were probably 50 years old along with the many other varieties of flowers. She would grow a vegetable garden and fruit trees, then preserve everything by canning, freezing, and dehydrating various foods. She was very resourceful. She could sew clothes, blankets and do a plethora of crafts. She, also, loved to dance. She could do all those fancy steps with the flips and twirls, like in the swing and jitterbug to waltzes.
She loved the holidays. She would decorate the main level of her home and throw a feast with everyone in attendance, and you better be there by 2:00PM. She built true memories. Ones that will be close to our hearts forever.
She worked in retail for many years and then was employed for 20+ years with the Department of Revenue in Washington state before retiring. After retiring, she moved to Vernal to be surrounded by family. Life was a celebration for her, to live each moment and to give advice along the way. Her last couple of years, she lived in a retirement home in Vernal. They nicknamed her "Trouble 1". She was the leader of the pack, very active, always motivating others to participate and going out of her way to visit each person.
She is survived by her daughters, Barbara (Samuel) Simper and Kathy Hokkanen; her sisters, Shirley (Ralph) Mason and Ruth (Dick) Kivi; 9 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her companion, Henry Ovens; her parents, Ray, and May Graham; her son, Russell Kellicutt and her grandson, Ryan Simper.
Funeral services for Donna will be held Friday August 25, 2023 at 2:00pm at the Maeser 4th Ward Chapel (2575 North 1500 West). Visitation for family and friends Thursday 6PM ~ 8PM and Friday 12:45pm ~ 1:45pm all at the church. Interment in the Dry Fork Cemetery under the direction of the Phillips Ashley Valley Funeral Home.