Dona Lois Edwards was born to Thomas and Grace Fay Edwards on August 25, 1934 in Buffalo, New York. She was the fourth of five surviving children.
She grew up close to her family, helping out with chores, playing cards, listening to family stories and watching over nieces and nephews. She was especially close with her younger brother Norbert who she and most others affectionately called "Tiger". They had a warm bond and shared an affinity for clever banter. Her familiar quick wit must have been sharpened during their playful ribbing. While she was getting ready for a night on the town he would say, "You look like a million bucks...all green and wrinkled."
Dona graduated from Lafayette High School in Buffalo in June of 1952. She was a good student with mostly A's. She earned a certificate in business and after graduation worked as a cost accountant at the Mentholatum Company. She typed 100 words a minute and had impeccable penmanship.
At the Mentholatum Company Dona met and befriended a woman named Marie Hoovener who eventually offered to study the Bible with her. Marie was one of Jehovah's Witnesses. For this reason, Dona was not interested. As a deeply religious person she respected the Bible and thought she knew a thing or two about it herself. At the end of 1956, she agreed to study but with the intention of proving that this different way of understanding the Bible was absolutely false. About six months later on May 18, 1957 Dona dedicated her life to her creator by being baptized as one of Jehovah's Witnesses. Dona had proved something. She became and remained a diligent student of the scriptures all her life because she had proved to herself what was right and "made the truth her own."
Later that same year she met a smiling Navy man named Carl Moore at a wedding. They danced and talked, and later went out on a date. They began going roller skating, kept on talking, and that was that.
Carl and Dona were married on July 11, 1959 and in fairly short order daughters followed, first Kathy in June 1960 then Cheri in January 1963. Carl worked for the Western Electric Company and Dona spent her time taking care of their girls and participating in the door to door ministry with her dear friend Theresa Coles who had also studied the Bible with Marie Hoovener. She loved to share her hope and deep sense of purpose with others. The whole family was active in the congregation in Tonawanda and made many lasting friendships there.
In 1976 Western Electric announced plans to close the plant where he worked and Carl was given the choice to relocate to Phoenix, AZ, Atlanta, GA, or Omaha, NE. The weather and culture in Omaha seemed the closest to upstate New York so the family packed up their life, drove halfway across the country, and moved into a cozy little house on Hascall Street where Dona and Carl lived until 2006.
Carl and Dona joined the Kingswood Congregation in Omaha, where they were warmly welcomed and remained deeply loved by many lifelong friends made there. On March 1, 1983 Dona became a regular pioneer minister, spending 90 hours every month preaching the good news of Gods kingdom. Around that time she decided she needed to learn to drive a car so she could participate more fully in this work and so Carl patiently taught her.
Dona was a hard worker, a meticulous housekeeper, and vacuumed her whole house every day, sometimes twice. She was busy and happy as she and Carl raised their daughters and shared the joy of weddings, then grandchildren whom Dona cherished holding, nurturing, teaching, and making laugh out loud. She enjoyed family parties, yearly trips to Lake Okobji, and seeing her grandchildren grow up.
On October 20, 2009 Dona experienced the sorrow of losing her dear husband in death but always treasured and reciprocated some of his final words to her, "I love you more than life itself." She spoke often of her sure hope of seeing him again when the Bible's promise of a resurrection to perfect life on a paradise Earth is fulfilled.
Dona continued to be close to her family and friends and even through health challenges and waning energy, remained active in the goings on of life for her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. She loved her spiritual brothers and sisters and maintained her lifelong determination to share her faith with her neighbors. She remained sharp, hilarious, and caring until the very end. She told one of her grandchildren, "Whatever you do, stick close to Jehovah...Well, that is if you ever wanna see me again!"
Dona fell asleep in death on Saturday, November 5, 2022.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 50 years, Carl Moore, her parents, Thomas and Grace Fay Edwards, and her siblings, Thomas Edwards, Ardell Ellis, Wilma Smith and Norbert Edwards.
Dona is survived by her children, Cheri Hale (Barry), and Kathy Steele (Bill), her grandchildren, Evan Hale (Hannah), Colton Wooster (Jessie), Courtney Strain (Doug), Derek Miller, Taylor Miller and Tristin Lomu (Jake), her great-grandchildren, Lyonel Hoffster and Ruanon Hoffster, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and spiritual brothers and sisters.
Dona cared deeply for her friends and family, cherished her husband, loved her daughters, and adored her grandchildren and great grandchildren, but her strongest and most profound love was for her heavenly father, Jehovah because she recognized him as the giver of "every good gift and every perfect present."
A Slideshow of Dona: https://www.dropbox.com/s/lzld68k7rnmcis2/Dona.MOV?dl=0