YUMA, Ariz. – Donna Faye King, 87, passed away in her sleep at her home in Yuma, Ariz., on May 15, 2012. Donna was born in Rock Lake, N.D., on May 30, 1924. She graduated from Minot High School in North Dakota.
Donna spent the next few years moving with her family to Montana and during the height of World War II, she and her sister went to the Seattle area, working as “Rosie the Riveters” on B-17 aircraft; she then went on to work at various jobs in Minneapolis and Montana. She entered the Air Force in 1954, was honorably discharged in 1959 and then entered the Air Force Reserve, retiring in 1984 with 30 years of service.
Donna entered the civil service in 1959 at Rocky Mountain Labs in Hamilton as a photographer and film development technician and pursued that career for 25 years through transfers to Greeley, Colo., and Yuma Proving Grounds, Ariz., retiring in 1984. She spent the last 48 years residing in Yuma, except for returning to Hamilton to care for her mother. She loved the desert and the lifestyle of Yuma, and made friends there who became like family to her.
Donna was preceded in death by her parents, Elsie and Henry King; and recently her nephew, Tim King.
Donna is survived by her sister, Clarice Skillman; brother, Wayne King; nieces and nephews, Judie Manual, Mitch King, Jerry Skillman and Beth Cromwell; cousins, Phyllis Teich and Carol Sipsock; and many grandnieces, grandnephews and special friends. Donna never married and had no children, so her nieces and nephews had a very special aunt.
Donna was a very adventurous person. When she first saw Yuma and the desert, she decided she wanted to spend the rest of her life there. For many years, desert photography and desert camping were a major interest in her life. She skydived in tandem when she was 69, parasailed when she was 78, hiked the Grand Canyon twice after she was 50, floated the Colorado in her 60s, traveled the Western states and Alaska in her small camper van, and visited her relatives and friends in Montana nearly every summer. She traveled on tours to Canada, our Eastern states, Europe, the Middle East and Mexico, and took several cruises. She went right through one bucket list and nearly finished a second one.
She was a member of Immanuel Southern Baptist Church of Yuma and was a bell-ringer and actively supported the Salvation Army for the past 20 years.
Interment will take place at Riverview Cemetery in Hamilton, at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 14. A reception will follow at Daly-Leach Memorial Chapel in Hamilton. Condolences may be left for the family at www.dalyleachchapel.com.