Donna Kay Herington Brown came into this world on January 18, 1945, while her father was fighting World War II in Germany. She lived in the family farm home in Illiopolis, with her mother and maternal grandparents until he returned. Her father, Byron Herington, passed away in 2007 and her mother, Katherine Adeline Johnston Herington is still living in Kalona, Iowa.
Donna leaves her life partner, Jill Grove of Springfield; her mother Katherine; three sons Steven Paul Brown, Phoenix, AZ, Michael Allan (Melissa) Brown of Springfield, IL and David Wayne (Katie) Brown of Spencer, IA; four grandchildren, Justin and Isaiah, of Springfield, Noah and Josie at home with parents David and Katie, three brothers Robert Wayne (Jo) Herington of LaSalle Peru, IL, Kenneth Lee (Brenda) Herington of Kalona, IA and Thomas Russell (Kathy) Herington of Jonesboro, TN; and many nieces and nephews whom she considered herself fortunate to have been a part of all their lives, rejoicing in their wise decisions and knowing their options are many and their futures are bright.
Her 13-year-old Golden Retriever, Tucker, who died January 26, 2013, greeted her with unchecked enthusiasm as Donna began her new journey. However, two others who will miss her greatly are her 5 year old APL rescue, Sassafras “Sassie” and Parker, a beagle mix who came into Donna’s life about a year ago. They have all been her guardian watchdogs over the past few months.
Donna loved spending time with her grandchildren and was extremely proud of all of them. She is excited to watch them all make their way in this world. She enjoyed traveling, music, singing, painting and crocheting. She crocheted afghans and prayer shawls for the homeless, abused women and people receiving chemotherapy. Donna enjoyed entertaining family and friends. She was an avid reader and learner. She was a person with a prodigious intellect and insatiable curiosity. She was a spiritual person who often hosted spiritual gatherings in her home.
Donna recently retired from being an administrative assistant for the Central Southern Illinois ELCA. Prior to that, Donna worked at SIU School of Medicine in the department of medical education.
Memorial Gathering will be Friday, February 8th from 4-7pm at the Sangamon Prairie Reception Center, 8855 State Route 4, Chatham. Both the gathering and service will be informal. There will be vignettes of Donna’s life, her favorite music and photos, and a memory table for children to prepare a keepsake.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Saturday, February 9th, at 10am at Sangamon Prairie Reception Center, Chatham, Illinois. There will be a short service, then the releasing of balloons, and an optional refreshments and open sharing time.
In lieu of flowers please make memorial contributions to the Early Learning Center-District 186, 2501 South 1st Street, Springfield, IL 62704, as Donna was particularly concerned about the education of young children. Donations will be used to enhance the outdoor learning environments at the Early Learning Center.