Born Monday, August 22, 1938
Died Friday, December 21, 2018
Donna was the youngest daughter of Orville and Nola (Walling) Hayden.
Donna grew up in Blackwell OK and was a member of the graduating class of 1956. After graduating High School, Donna attended Oklahoma State University where she was a member of the Alpha Delta Pi Sorority and graduated with a Bachelors of Business Administration.
Donna met her husband Ronnie while in high school and although they went their separate ways, they ended up marrying and shared over 57 years together. They made their home in Warner OK where they were an integral party of the community for many years.
Donna worked for the Department of Human Services in Muskogee before owning and operating three women’s clothing stores in Muskogee and Warner. Her advertisements read “It’s Different at Donna’s” and it truly was. She had finer clothes and finer service and every one of her customers were special. She hand wrapped every gift out of her shops and until the last two years, still made the most beautiful handmade bows any package has ever seen.
Before closing her last store in 1985, Donna began taking photography and journalism classes at Connors State College, just for fun. She loved taking pictures and loved writing even more. Donna’s love of writing along with her intelligence, tenacity and “just being nosey” made her a perfect fit for journalism.
Donna started working part time doing freelance stories and lifestyle for the Muskogee Phoenix. By the time she retired due to illness in 2011, she was considered by many to be the best investigative reporter in the state of Oklahoma. Some weren’t fond of her investigative work but most everyone loved her for not only her pleasant smile and huge laugh and for her genuine kindness and willingness to help them get to the bottom of the issue. If you were her friend you knew she was in your corner forever.
Donna was a tireless worker in everything she did. Donna was very creative and could design and make beautiful things. Donna loved to go to garage sales with her best friend, the late Margaret Smithson and her grandchildren.
Donna most loved her children and grandchildren and thought each one of them hung the moon.
Donna is survived by her husband Ronnie of OKC, where they had moved in 2014. She also survived by her daughters Ronna Milligan (Harlis) of Keefeton and Dana Webb (Duane) of OKC. She is also survived by her stepson Bryan Hales of Webber Falls and her son she was blessed to get from her sister, Bill Fraser (Mary) of Muskogee. She is also survived by her grandchildren Kim Milligan of Keefeton, Jess Webb (Brittany) of Dodge City, KS, Ronnie Milligan (Sarah) of Webbers Falls, Hilary Watkins (Garrett) of Choctaw, Kristi Milligan (R.J. Wofford) of Muskogee, Katlin Fraser of Muskogee and Grace Fraser of Muskogee, as well as great grandchildren Jaylen Milligan, Jaiden Wofford, Eli Milligan, Harper Milligan and Laney Lowrance.
In lieu of flowers, Donna’s family has requested memorials be made to Warner First Baptist Church, P.O. Box 250, Warner, OK 74469.
Services will be at 2:00 PM Thursday Dec 27, 2018 at Warner First Baptist Church with Pastor Sam Dunn officiating. Interment will follow at Warner Memorial Cemetery with Jess Webb, Ronnie Milligan, Garrett Watkins, Chuck Smithson, Johnny Lewis and R.J. Wofford serving as pall bearers. Honorary pall bears will be Duane Webb, Bill Fraser, Leo Smithson, Charlie McGrew, Charles Pearson, Paul Whitley, Buddy Lewis, Art DeCamp and Leif Wright.
Donna’s family would to express a very special thank you to the staff at Timberwood Assisted Living and Danielle with Physicians Choice Hospice for taking such good care of her.