Donna Grabbe

FAIRBURY - Donna Kaye (Yingst) Grabbe (a.k.a. Gabby the Clown), formerly of Fairbury, passed away and departed from her loved ones on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012, at her home in rural Louisville, Ill.

Donna was born in Fairbury, Ill., on Sept. 2, 1960, to her loving parents, Wanda Kay and Jim Yingst. Donna graduated from North Clay High School in Louisville, Ill., in 1978.

She joined the United States Air Force, where she met her devoted and loving husband of 33 years, Richard Grabbe. Donna later graduated from Indiana University with an associate's degree in 1997 and obtained her bachelor's in accounting from Eastern Illinois University in 2005.

Donna was an active member of the Red Brush Christian Church in Louisville, Ill., and was president of the board of Iola Old Settlers for approximately five years.

Donna worked for Clay County State Bank in Louisville, Ill.

Gabby the Clown graduated from Clown Heaven in Martinsville, Ind., as a professional clown in 1996. Gabby brought smiles and hugs to churches, fairs and events in Indiana, Texas and Illinois.

Donna left behind many loved ones including her husband, Richard Louis Grabbe; her daughters, Heather (Raymond) Rosch of Flora, Ill., and Miranda Grabbe of Louisville, Ill.; and her grandnieces, whom she took in as her own, Evelyn and Violet Elledge; and her pride and joys, her grandchildren, Haley, Lucas and Anthony Rosch of Flora, Ill.

Donna is survived in passing by her proud and loving parents, Wanda Kay (Cook) and James E. Yingst of Farina, Ill.; and her brothers and sisters, Susan (Jerry) Foust (Herndon, Ky.), James "Bo" (Hope) Yingst (Farina, Ill.), Karen (Steve) Elledge (Farina, Ill.), Eric (Tammy) Yingst (Farina, Ill.); and her surrogate sister/cousin, Kathy Wilson-Peters of Effingham, Ill.

Services for Donna will be held at Red Brush Christian Church in Louisville, Ill., on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. Visitation will begin at 10 a.m. and the funeral will be held at 12 noon in the afternoon. Donna will be laid to rest in Red Brush Cemetery in Louisville, Ill.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her honor to the Clay County Cancer Crusaders.

Arrangements are being handled by J.W. Neal Funeral Home in Louisville, Ill.

Memorial tributes and condolences may be made to the family at www.jwnealfuneralhome.net.

Published in Peoria Journal Star on Oct. 24, 2012