Donna Jean (Simmons) Choate went to her heavenly home just before dawn on Tuesday, July 18th, 2017. She was surrounded by loved ones.
Born on July 28th, 1942 in Chicago, Illinois, Donna was the first daughter and eldest child born to the union of Andrew “Jack” and Naomi (McHugh) Simmons. Donna spent the first six months of her life in Chicago prior to returning to Southern Illinois with her parents. Donna always considered herself a “lifelong resident of Ozark.”
On July 21st, 1961, Donna married her high school sweetheart, Bill E. Choate, in Stonefort, Illinois. They had three children and enjoyed almost 56 years of marriage.
Donna is survived by her husband Bill; daughters – Kristi Raben of Evansville, Indiana and Kara (her husband, Don) Rash of Ozark; grandchildren Jared, Baylee, Andrew, Kelsi and Trent; great grandchildren Kennedee and Kayden; 2 sisters Linda Bundren of Springfield and Kathy Murphy of Evansville, Indiana, a brother Dennis Simmons of Vienna and a brother-in-law Bob (his wife, Linda) Choate of Boaz, Kentucky. In addition, she leaves behind aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews who loved her dearly.
Donna was preceded in death by her parents and a son, Scott Eric Choate.
Donna was a 1960 graduate of the Vienna High School. Additionally, she was employed for a time as a secretary at the school. Her greatest joy, however, was being a homemaker. She devoted her entire life to her family. She was an excellent seamstress, making wedding dresses, bridal party gowns, band and cheer uniforms, as well as handcrafted parade banners used in local “Relay For Life” events.
If you were Donna’s friend, family or sometimes even a casual acquaintance, you probably have been blessed with at least one handmade Christmas ornament, potholder, doll or baby blanket. Many have been fortunate to enjoy one of her delicious baked creations, particularly at a holiday dinner or family gathering. Donna enjoyed her traveling adventures with her family but found great joy in traveling the gravel roads of Johnson County.
Donna was a member of the Community of Christ (Webb) Church near Tunnel Hill.
A service honoring the life of Donna Jean Choate will be conducted Friday, July 21, 2017, at 11 AM at Bailey Funeral Home in Vienna. The date is significant to the family as it marks Bill and Donna’s 56th wedding anniversary. Dr. Glenn Webb will officiate.
Burial will be in the Wise-Robinson Cemetery near Ozark.
Following the interment at the cemetery, there will be a luncheon for family and friends at the Community of Christ Church, 5170 Tunnel Hill Road, Tunnel Hill, IL.
Visitation will be held Thursday evening, July 20, 2017, from 5 PM – 8 PM at Bailey Funeral Home in Vienna.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Heather Harper Treat Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 98, Vienna, IL 62995.