Donna Vee (Rouse) Byers

Donna Vee (Rouse) Byers


Donna Vee (Rouse) Byers, 92, passed away on May 31st, ten days following the passing of her close friend and neighbor, Rosemarie Sharp. She is missed by numerous friends and family from whom she earned the nickname "the energizer bunny" for her high energy and dogged determination of surmounting almost any task.

Donna was born on October 10, 1926 to Edgar and Georgia Rouse. She had two younger siblings, Betty and Samuel Rouse. Donna graduated from Green City, Missouri High School in 1945, and met her husband, William (Bill) Donald Byers, through her roommate and Bill's sister, Dorothy Byers. Donna and Bill were married in April, 1946 and had two children, a daughter, Sherry Dawn Byers, born in 1950 and a son, Gary Lon Byers, born in 1951.

Following high school, Donna was employed with Boeing as an office worker, supporting the war effort in the production of World War II bombers. Donna was secretary of the elementary school in Bloomfield, IA from 1956 to 1969, and later served in sales and management of several women's apparel shops. Many people remember buying women's clothing from Donna at Seiferts Women's Apparel, in downtown Ottumwa.

Donna enjoyed making numerous trips to Alaska, first flying to the state with husband Bill in 1985, a trip that included a final leg of the journey by bush plane, to visit her daughter Sherry and son-in-law Ross. She made two trips to Alaska by car, one with her daughter and family and a second with her sister Betty and husband. She flew to Alaska with her granddaughter Leigh Kate, and numerous other trips by herself.

Donna led a very active social life as Member of the First Methodist Church in Ottumwa, and member and participant of women's service organizations. Donna continued to live in Ottumwa following the death of her husband Bill in 1988 until 2012. Donna retired from her work at Seifert's following the death of her son Gary in 2010 and she moved to Kirksville, Mo.. Donna rented a condominium from her cousin in Kirksville where she lived for five years across the hall from her best friend, Rosemarie Sharp, from 2012 to 2017.

During her final years in Kirksville, Donna enjoyed visits from friends whom she had known since early childhood, as well as numerous family members who still live in the general area. Donna moved into Kirksville Manor to receive skilled nursing care, after suffering a stroke in November, 2017.

Donna is survived by her daughter Sherry Byers, her husband Ross Klooster, granddaughters Leigh Kate Ochieng, her husband Gordon, and Carmen Laura Klooster-Byers, and great granddaughter Izzy Mae Ochieng.

Funeral services will be held 2:00 pm, Thursday, June 6, at Travis Noe Funeral Home in Kirksville, Missouri. Interment will follow the service at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Green City, Missouri.

Family will receive friends on Thursday for one hour before the service in the chapel of Travis-Noe Funeral Home.

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