Donna Lee Forney died on August 20, 2017 at her residence in Yakima, Washington at the age of 85. She was born November 4, 1931 in a farmhouse near Brocket, North Dakota to parents Opal and Cecil.
Donna had four brothers, two older and two younger, and though she was a middle child, the four boys didn’t stand a chance against her! When Donna was about two-years-old the family moved to Eureka, Mont. where she attended Roosevelt Grade School. With the promise of a better job the family then moved to Babb, where her father worked at the Customs Station. Donna and her brothers attended school on the Blackfoot Indian Reservation. Due to limited space, Donna and some of her brothers slept in the jail cells there, when they were unoccupied. When another opportunity became available in Oroville, Wash., and at her mother’s urging, the family moved to Oroville in 1943, which became home. She graduated from Oroville Senior High School in 1948. Donna attended Kinman Business University in Spokane, where she was terribly homesick, but she persevered and in July 1949 she earned a degree in stenography, graduating early to hasten the return home.
She married a very persistent suiter (and friend of her older brother Grant) Virgil Forney on Nov. 26, 1949. They adored one another and were inseparable for more than 66 years. In 1951, Merlin was born while they lived in Bridgeport, Wash. Kevin followed in 1955, Ann in 1961 and Noel Perez joined the family in 1978. Donna and Virgil shared a love of travel, which was needed when Virg began working on the Minuteman Missile project for Boeing. From 1961 to 1970 they moved 14 times. The family finally settled in Everett, Wash. where Donna began working for the Bank of Everett and then she became a founding employee of a small but growing local bank, Frontier Bank. In Everett, Virgil and Donna made many lasting friendships and cherished their church family at Cascade View Presbyterian Church. When Donna retired as a vice-president at the bank, her lasting legacy would be the relationships made with so many customers over the years and her attention to all of the details. She always dreamed of owning a house on a lake and the dream came true when they built their home on Silver Lake, where she loved to entertain guests.
During retirement years they traveled by motorhome, eventually visiting all 50 states. They enjoyed trips to many countries around the world. Donna loved music and was an accomplished piano and accordion player. She played piano for church services from the time she was a girl, and wherever needed throughout their travels. Everyone loved it when she played the accordion around the campfire, especially You Are My Sunshine; but on Sunday morning with accordion in hand, she conducted Sunday School services, which the children had hoped to escape. She enjoyed playing cards and games, going out to dinner (not cooking) and she would not fail to tell you if you had received a bad haircut. Throughout her life she always kept a lookout for people in need and took many under her wing. When she had memory issues beginning in 2002, she took it all in stride with good humor, in her very direct way. In 2009, she and Virg moved to Yakima to be near their daughter and to finally slow down from their travels.
Donna is survived by sons, Merlin and Kevin (Marilyn); daughters, Ann (Tim) and Noel; ten grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her parents, her beloved husband, Virgil; her brothers, Allan, Grant, Wallace and Lynn and daughter-in-law Laurel “Lolly” Forney.
The family would like to extend special thanks to Fieldstone Memory Care and Heartlinks Hospice & Palliative Care for their loving support.
A graveside service is planned to be held at Riverview Cemetery in Oroville, Washington on July 14, 2018, details are to be determined. Memorials to honor Donna’s memory may be directed to Tall Timber Ranch Memorial Fund, 27875 White River Road, Leavenworth, WA 98826.
Keith & Keith Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements.