Donna L. Vanier
1934 - 2020
Ryan Mortuary & Crematory Inc
137 North Eighth Street
Salina, KS
Donna L. Vanier Donna L. Vanier, 85, passed away Saturday, May 23, 2020. The scriptures say, "To whom much is given, much will be required." Luke 12:48. To Donna Vanier, this was much more than Biblical council. It was a way of life. Born in Salina, Kansas, on October 24, 1934 to Willis and Helen Lindsey, Donna is preceded in death by her parents and brother, Douglas. She is survived by her husband of 65 years, John K. (Jack) Vanier, daughter Mary Vanier of Manhattan, daughter Dr. Marty Vanier of Manhattan and her stepchildren Katie, Kirsten and Kathy, and son John K. Vanier II of Salina, his daughters Lauren and Sarah, his wife Kim, and stepchildren Pallie, Landon, Jess, Ty, Jake & Norah. Donna Vanier possessed an outlook on life that focused on others and needed to look no further than her own family and community to make a difference. When her family's way of life called, Donna replied with time, talent and treasure. Donna lived most of her adult life with her husband on the CK Ranch outside of Brookville, Kansas. As matriarch of a ranch family, Donna's commitment to their way of life did not stop at the fence line. She worked harder at CK Ranch than anyone; active in all aspects of the cattle business including producing the ranch's annual production sale catalogs, hosting countless ranch tour groups, tracking cattle inventories, and making employees and their families feel valued and appreciated. Her dedication and support of her family and her family's work was motivated by care and kindness. She was one of the founders of the American Hereford Association Auxiliary and sought to ensure leadership in the next generation of agriculture by offering scholarships through the Hereford Youth Foundation and the Kansas 4-H Foundation. When Salina Kansas called, Donna Vanier answered with benevolence. She served as the driving force behind the creation of the Donna L. Vanier Children's Center which opened in 2012. Donna also served many years as: treasurer of the Christ Cathedral Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Diocese of Western Kansas; founding board member of the Greater Salina Community Foundation; Chair of the governing Boards of the Salina Regional Health Foundation, the Rolling Hills Museum, and St. John's Military School; and was a contributing member to countless other local boards and organizations. When Kansas State University called, Donna responded with generosity. At Kansas State, her service and leadership included roles on the KSU Foundation Board of Directors, the Ahearn Scholarship Board, where she originated the Powercat Auction, and Chair of the Beach Museum of Art Board of Visitors. Through these acts and countless others, Donna earned the Kansas State University Medal of Excellence, which recognizes those who have advanced K-State through exceptional service, leadership and philanthropic contributions. When her friends and family called, Donna was always there with love. Not one to forget a birthday, anniversary or other significant milestone, Donna was the truest of friends and a source of wisdom and kindness. Her many friends from the Salina area, the cattle business and the K-State family brought her immense joy. To whom much is given, much will be required. The scripture from Luke is an exhortation to vigilance. Generosity, strength, benevolence, toughness, vigilance. Over the generations, the Kansas culture has cultivated an apt description for people like Donna Vanier. She was a do-gooder. Wherever she went, Donna Vanier did good. The scripture ends, "And of him to whom they have entrusted much, they will demand more." Donna understood innately what God expected of her and her life reflected it. Funeral service plans will be made and announced when COVID-19 gathering restrictions are lifted. The family suggests memorial gifts to any of the following organizations: the St. Francis Ministries of Salina; the KSU Foundation; the Christ Cathedral Endowment Fund in Salina; the Meadowlark Hills Good Samaritan Fund in Manhattan; and St. Paul's Episcopal Church of Manhattan. Memorials may be sent in care of Ryan Mortuary, 137 N. 8th Street, Salina, Kansas 67401
Published by Kansas City Star on May 27, 2020.
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5 Entries
Her times and contribution to Kansas State University shall be appreciated for decades to come. We were fellow supporters of K -State Wildcats in spite of it not being an elite private school, but rather the branch of the State goverment's college system in rural kansas. Donating to the government to enrich public school educations.
May 27, 2020
One fantastic lady, RIP Donna. Jack my prayers are with you my friend. I have many fond memories of the Vanier's while working at the First National Bank in Salina.
Tony Augusto
May 26, 2020
I am so very sorry to learn of Donna's death, What an example she is of a life well-lived! Donna and I were Pi Beta Phi pledge sisters for the school year 1956/57 at the University of Kansas. Donna was a joy and a wonderful part of our pledge class.
Sue Harper Ice, Newton, KS
Sue Ice
May 26, 2020
I am so very sorry to learn of Donna's death. I was a Pi Beta Phi sorority pledge sister at the University of Kansas with Donna. She was a joy and a wonderful part of our pledge class. What an example she is of a life well-lived. Sue Harper Ice, Newton, KS
May 26, 2020
Donna was a very generous woman and I remember as as a kid going to 4h days at the ranch that john hosted. rip
mike brady
May 26, 2020
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