Donnera Walker (1935 - 2017)

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  • "Al, remembering all the wonderful times together and common..."
    - William Quigg
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Donnera Walker, 82, died November 9 at home after a short illness. The daughter of Victor Knopp and Jessie Evelyn Rickenbaugh Phillips, she was born January 1, 1935 in Perry County. She married Alan Lee Walker, who survives, as do two daughters, Mrs. Chester (Gloria) Kasnowski, of Virginia, and Mrs. David (Elizabeth) Blumenfeld, of South Carolina. Also surviving are grandchildren, Leiha, Lura, Jacob Blumenfeld, two nieces, Linda Kay Tobler, Donna Ann Gunn, and five nephews, James and Kenneth Gates, Terry, Gary and Richard Phillips. She considered Bernadette Thompson and Amanda Moon of Northern Ireland her Irish daughters, and Jasmin Becker her German daughter.
Her interests were many: she was a lifelong Democrat, active in party politics, and an active member of the First Presbyterian Church and its choir where she was often witnessed dancing because the Spirit moved her. She was a Sunday school teacher, elder of the church and a church youth group leader. Others knew her as a Girl Scout leader in the 1960s, the organizer of roller-skating birthday parties, a monitor of daughters' slumber parties, the glue of holiday gatherings, the keeper of family traditions, the definition of friendliness to all, and the genetic provider of DNA for storytelling and fun. For the last several years, she devoted time to her husband by maintaining routine contact with the early morning breakfast community.
Donnera managed the former Bedford Youth Center, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, co-owned and managed the Owls Nest and Jug Stores. Her work as the Activities Director at the Hospitality House in the 1970s influenced her efforts to create a pre-school for special needs children. She always stepped up to help or advocate for those in need.
She was a woman raised on a farm, enjoyed living simply, shared her father's love for yellow roses, her mother's love of gardening, was known for flagging down trucks loaded with peaches just to buy a crate, and yet she found adventure in traveling Down Under, Great Britain, Europe, Canada, and all 50 states. Her daughters assume she is already mapping out tours of Heaven at this time because she loves to travel.
Visitation will be Friday, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Ferguson-Lee Chapel. The memorial service will be at the Bedford First Presbyterian Church on Saturday, November 18 at 12:30. Burial will follow at the Bristow Cemetery in Perry County. The Mourner's Prayer of Kaddish will be observed at the cemetery. The family will also be at the Walker family home on Sunday after 1 p.m. for additional visitations. Online condolences may be sent to the family at
Memorial gifts may be sent to the First Presbyterian Church and the Lawrence County Humane Service.

Funeral Home
Ferguson-Lee Funeral Home
818 18th Street
Bedford, IN 47421
(812) 275-4433
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Published in Perry County News on Nov. 16, 2017