Donna Lee Doyle of Colville passed peacefully into eternal life on January 26, 2012. She was born July 13, 1941 in Butte, MT, the daughter of Dalton “Briggs” Lafayette and Frances Cecilia (Sologub) Webb.
Donna was raised in Spokane with her older brother, William. She attended primary school at St. Francis of Assisi Parish and continued her education at Holy Names Academy and Sacred Heart School of Nursing.
While working as an operating room nurse at Sacred Heart Hospital, she met Dr. William (Jake) Doyle, whom she married in June 1964. After a year in Santa Cruz, CA, where she gave birth to her first son, Bill, the family moved to Colville, bringing them closer to extended family and an opportunity to be a part of a community that shared a sense of her Montana roots.
While in Colville, Donna drew close to the German Dominican Sisters and colleagues from Mount Carmel Hospital. Donna continued nursing at the hospital while her family grew with births of Tom, Mike, Katy and Molly.
Donna embraced and supported her children in all their ac¬tivities, including Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, religious education and Room Mother. While working full-time, she enthusiasti¬cally attended the majority of her five children’s activities: foot¬ball, wrestling, basketball, baseball, band, softball, volleyball, ballet, and Junior Miss. Donna made sure each child felt uniquely supported and loved, even when they may be partici¬pating simultaneously on five different teams. She taught each of her children how to slalom water ski, and they learned to snow ski as a family.
The sacred and “un-missable” events for Donna’s family were Mass on Sunday and the family dinner. Even when dinner had to be postponed until nighttime, the family would gather to¬gether, put their napkins in their laps, begin with grace and stay seated until everyone had finished their meal. As the chil¬dren entered high school and college, it was common that the number of friends around the table at home and at Christina Lake grew, but no one skipped the family meal without good reason. The sanctity of meal and the premise that there was always room for one more at the table were traits that she passed on from her own family and extended family.
Donna’s faith community at Immaculate Conception parish anchored her life. As a young mother, she served in the Altar Society and after her children had moved on, she was a member of the Parish Council. She was also a committed member of the women’s 8-11 Study Club, PEO and a local chapter of The Cal¬endar Girls. She was also instrumental in the beginnings of school activities such as Project Graduation and the Red Feather Club.
When Donna was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 1990, she survived more than 20 years of grueling treatment by faith, friendships and force of will that carried her to the next milestone: a graduation, a wedding, a holiday, a family reunion, the birth of a grandchild.
While still working at Mt. Carmel, Donna’s phone and teapot were kept busy as she accompanied hundreds of other cancer victims seeking technical or emotional support. When conven¬tional treatments had been exhausted, Donna willingly partici¬pated in cancer research protocols with full knowledge of their hazards, yet understanding the importance of medical research for those who would follow. Being part of leading and growing “Relay for Life” in Colville was part of the way that Donna sought to bring the goods of healing and community from the challenges of her own illness.
Donna’s health forced a move to Spokane in November 2010. What she hoped to be a temporary leave from Colville became permanent. While she missed her dear friends, she reveled in the blessing of those who continued to visit after she was no longer capable of returning to her home.
The hidden blessing of being in Spokane was found in re¬uniting with friends and classmates from Holy Names Academy, Sacred Heart Nursing School, as well as the surprise blessing of new and wonderful friendships and connecting with her father’s relatives from Tennessee.
Donna will be remembered as a faith-filled and formidable person who demanded from, and gave her best to family and friends.
Donna is survived by William J. Doyle; her sons, and daugh¬ters-in-laws, Bill and Julie Doyle, Spokane; Mike and Wenona Doyle, Nine Mile Falls; her daughters and sons-in-laws, Katy and Murray McConnachie, Trail, B.C.; Molly and Ben Louie, St. Helens, OR; and her son, Fr. Tom Doyle, Notre Dame, IN. Donna cherished the blessing of her seven grandchildren: Jake, Matthew, Daniel, Tommy, Mandy, Mariana, and Elizabeth.
Donna was preceded in death by her parents and brother, but felt and received love from her cousins and their families as if they were her own siblings.
As her illness progressed in the final chapter of this life, Donna made it a point to teach her friends, children and grand¬children that death need not be feared because what awaits us in God is the purpose for which we are created.
The services for Mrs. Donna L. Doyle began with a visitation, followed by a Vigil and Rosary p.m. on Jan. 30, 2012 at the Immaculate Conception Parish. The Mass of Christian Burial was held Jan. 31, 2012 at the Immaculate Conception Parish (320 N. Maple, Colville).
The celebration will conclude with a graveside service at 11:30 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012 at Holy Cross Cemetery (7200 N. Wall, Spokane, WA 99208).
Memorial Gifts can be made to: Tri-County Health/Cancer Transportation Fund (240 E. Dominion, Colville, WA99114) or Relay for Life (c/o Key Bank, PO Box 231 Colville WA 99114).
Please visit the on-line memorial and sign the guestbook at www.danekasfuneralchapel.com .
Danekas Funeral Chapel & CrematoryFirst Ave., Colville is entrusted with arrangements.