Donna Ruth Needham’s journey to our Lord ended peacefully on May 7, 2019, in Fort Scott, Kansas. Her journey began June 21, 1931, in Wichita, Kansas.
Donna was a graduate of Wichita North High School. She earned her B.S. in education at Pittsburg State University. There she was a member of Alpha Sigma Alpha and gained lifelong friends as she did everywhere she was. After teaching at Hutchinson High School (1954-1962), she moved to Fort Scott and began her teaching career at Cottey College. She earned her Master’s in Education at Pittsburg State University. She retired from Cottey as Professor Emerita in 1997. While there, she oversaw the physical education program and served as chair of the Social Science division. In 1996, Donna received the Missouri Governor’s Excellence in Teaching Award.
Donna focused on all things water-related! She taught synchronized swimming, competitive swimming, diving and water safety. She was especially skilled at working with those who feared the water. She was also a certified trainer for the American Red Cross. It was not uncommon to see Donna with her friends in her beloved boat on Fort Scott Lake where she loved to water ski and frequently taught others to water ski.
Survivors include her nephew Michael Shogren (Debbie) of Wichita, Kansas, niece Donna Robbins (Kevin Fessman) of Derby, Kansas, nephew Scott Shogren (Wendy) of Wichita, Kansas, and numerous great-nieces and nephews.
Donna’s sense of humor, honesty, generosity and infectious laughter endeared her to everyone she met. She will be greatly missed by dear friends! She will be especially missed by Lisa Proctor of Nevada, Missouri, Karen Polon and Ed Hyde of Nevada, Missouri, Mary Ann Benage of Fort Scott, Kay Roberts of Columbia, Missouri, Becki and Kent Roberts of Fort Scott, and Janie Harrison of Conway, Arkansas. We are grateful for the care and comfort that she was given at Presbyterian Village.
Her faith and her church Mary Queen of Angels were the light in the darkness we call life.
Following cremation, the Rosary will be prayed at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 21, 2019, at Mary Queen of Angels Catholic Church, Fort Scott.
Father Yancey Burgess will celebrate the funeral mass at 10:00 a.m. with burial following in the St. Mary’s Cemetery under the direction of the Konantz-Cheney Funeral Home.
Memorials may be made to St. Mary’s Catholic School or Cottey College and may be left in the care of the Konantz-Cheney Funeral Home, 15 W. Wall Street, PO Box 309, Fort Scott, KS 66701. Condolences may be submitted to the online guestbook at konantz-cheney.com.