On Friday July 8th, 2016 Donnalee Alene Heiden returned to the loving arms of her Lord and Savior to be made whole again.
Donnalee is survived by her children Art (Phyllis), Chris (Pete), Ed (Sharon), Donna (Tim) and Deanna (Jim); her sister Idane as well as 11 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and 3 great-great-grandchildren.
Born on April 30th 1928, Donnalee was one of 5 children of Archie Noble & Frances Margaret (Sloan) Cross. She grew up in the small town of Montrose Colorado, which she was proud to call her home. Donnalee dedicated her life to caring for and nourishing the people around her with love, faith and music. She left school in the 8th grade in order to stay home and help care for her father. Following in her mother's footsteps, she developed a passion for cooking, baking and sewing that would stay with her the rest of her life.
She married her soulmate and the love of her life Ed Netherton on December 28, 1951. Together they raised their children in a loving home where they instilled in them a strong work ethic. Donnalee had experience in a variety of professions. Her favorite career was that of bus driver for the Norwood School and she particularly enjoyed driving the students on field trips and class trips where she garnered the nickname "Bluestreak". Ed and Donnalee were a dynamic entrepreneurial team that transitioned through many family owned businesses including the Nucla Mercantile, restaurants, a saw mill and a company that manufactured powder and explosives. Through their parent's example their children learned a strength and dedication to family that would see them through a string of personal tragedies.
After Ed's passing on July 6th 1985, Donnalee moved to Utah and began the second chapter of her life with the family of her youngest child Deanna. During her free time she could be found playing the organ, sewing, cleaning or baking and she always had one or both of her granddaughters by her side, passing those passions onto the next generation. She was an active member of the Assembly of God church where she played the organ, participated in plays and even taught students in their private school program. She was lucky to find companionship again when she married James Heiden on December 21st, 1996 with whom she shared 8 wonderful years.
Donnalee always had a positive outlook on life that rubbed off on the people she encountered on a daily basis. Everyone from the waitresses at her favorite restaurant to the man who sliced her ham at the deli considered her to be a close friend. During the final months of her life Donnalee took up residence at The Charleston senior living community in Cedar Hills, UT. The staff and residents there were so quickly endeared to her that after only two weeks they had created the honorary title of "Welcome Committee" and given her a specially made name badge so that she could be the first to greet new residents. This was a final testament to the dynamic personality and endearing legacy of joy, compassion and love that will live on in all of those whose lives she touched.
Graveside service at Valley Lawn Uncompahgre Memorial Gardens in Montrose, Colorado on Wednesday July 13th at 1:00pm.
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