LaDonna Jean Nevling Darnell, of Athens, Georgia, Ginter, Pennsylvania and Portaferry, Northern Ireland, passed away peacefully at home amongst her family after a prolonged illness on April 26, 2014. She leaves behind her loving husband and friend James A. Darnell; her devoted sister Doris Lee Nevling; her brother John Sinnett; her children and their spouses, Julie Darnell (Randy Ramsey), Adam Darnell (Doyanne Darnell), Lindsay Bentham (Anthony Bentham); and adoring granddaughters Riley Ramsey and Coralie Ramsey. She was preceded in death by a brother, Scott Thomas Nevling.
LaDonna was born September 9,1946 in Barberton, Ohio. The daughter of Malcolm and Maxine Nevling, she grew up in West Virginia and Painesville, Ohio. LaDonna graduated from Ohio State University with a Bachelors degree in Occupational Therapy. Shortly after marrying, James joined the Air Force and the couple moved frequently, amassing a far-reaching web of lifelong friends. LaDonna enjoyed her work as an occupational therapist, and developed new interests in each place she lived.
Her kindness and love for others were evident in the way she treated everyone in her daily life. Those who categorized her solely as nice drastically underestimated her steely nature and strength. Small in stature and soft spoken, she was a powerhouse who recognized those who needed help and stepped forward to provide it. She saved at least three people (all strangers) from choking by performing the Heimlich manuever. She perpetuated beauty and goodwill through her generosity with delicious baked goods and beautiful gardens. She had a deep love for the holidays, which anyone lucky enough to receive a plate of her Christmas cookies would attest to. LaDonna lived her life fully and leaves behind a family extremely grateful for each day they were given with her.
Service will be at the First Presbyterian Church, Athens, GA, Tuesday April 29 at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation.
Bridges Funeral Home of Athens is in charge of the arrangements.
Bridges Funeral Home, Inc.
3035 Atlanta Highway Athens, GA 30606
Published in Athens Banner-Herald on Apr. 28, 2014