Donna Rose Nunley

3 March, 194822 May, 2024
Obituary of Donna Rose Nunley
It is said that “Nothing is more beautiful than the beauty of a kind soul” and Donna Nunley was the most beautiful woman in the world. On March 3, 1948, Donna Rose (Hurrle) Nunley was born to Rose Ellen (Hession) and William Paul Hurrle. The first born and oldest daughter, Donna was always destined to be a servant leader. She was instinctively a supportive and generous mentor to her eight siblings: Stephen, Mary Ann, Theresa, William, Margaret, Patricia, Antoinette, and Francis Xavier. Donna was a shy, sweet, smart girl who spent her childhood orchestrating games of bus, grocery, and mass with her brothers and sisters in Brownsburg and Indianapolis. She was a student at both St. Andrew and Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Schools before attending Bishop Chatard High School. She was a talented writer who had a passion for reading and a love of learning that would last a lifetime. True to the way Donna would treat children for the rest of her life, she could never recall receiving more than a stern word or warning as punishment from her parents. Her Father spoke to her often about trusting God’s timing, from him she learned to laugh easily, and to treasure the joys of a big family. Her Mother taught her patience, a strong work ethic, and that “inch by inch life’s a cinch”. When Donna moved to the northside of Indianapolis to attend Chatard, she was introduced to Beth Bloemker, a precious best friend who would celebrate countless milestones with Donna. They would attend mass at St. Joan of Arc, share lunch, walk to the bus stop, and set up beauty shops in their kitchens. When Alice Bowman joined their set, the three were inseparable and they fostered a friendship that would last forever. Donna always wanted to be a teacher and loved playing school with her siblings. She was excited to study at Marian University where she would earn her degree in Elementary Education. It was at Marian that a classmate, Ruth Ann Guinan, would beg Donna to go out with her brother, H. Burch Nunley, who had just returned from Vietnam. They were set up on a first date and found they shared the same dream - to have a big loving family. Donna was head over heels for Burch and she fell in love with his fun personality. Donna Hurrle became Donna Nunley on September 4, 1971 surrounded by their family and friends. Donna and Burch lived their dream of a joyous loving family for over half a century still always surrounded by their family and friends. With a flair for matchmaking, Donna and Burch setup Beth Bloemker with Bob Groves. Bob was a fellow Marine who was in boot camp with Burch. Both couples married in 1971 within a week of each other and would celebrate 52 anniversaries together. Alice Bowman married Stuart Countryman and the friends shared life together - marriage, children, careers, grandchildren, and all of the treasured moments in between. The circle of friendship widened into a group that supported each other and celebrated together. Donna was a friend like no other - offering tender and compassionate support. She was able to deepen the roots of her oldest friendships and was always eager to make new friends. She simply loved the best parts of people. Much like the sun, Donna’s friends and family knew she was the bright warmth they needed to cheer their day and soothe their soul. Donna’s first teaching job was at School #4, where she worked for a short time before starting her family. Her heart grew six times as big, welcoming Ellen, Mary, Emily, Abby, H. Burch III, and John. Donna’s greatest dream had come true: she had been blessed with her big, beautiful family. She often said her favorite thing in the world was listening to all her children laughing together. Donna created a childhood full of magic for her children, and there were no boundaries to her ingenuity and imagination. She opened her home to family, friends, and neighbors. She was a teacher always and invited her friends’ kids to join her own to create, experiment, play, and learn. Donna loved to make holidays a joyous celebration. The kids would decorate the front windows, and Donna would fashion a feast for every occasion. She encouraged her kids to trust God, pray, sing, dance, build indoor cities, play outside, read books, plant flowers, enjoy parks, feed the ducks, and be kind to people. Donna poured an infinite amount of love into her children her entire life. She was their best friend, knew them inside and out, cherished, encouraged, and comforted them, no matter how old they got. Her nieces and nephews were always delighted at their ability to play freely at Aunt Donna’s - and at her inability to raise her voice at them. Donna’s Diner was open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. She showered attention on all her family members because family was the most important part of Donna’s life. She loved to write touching notes for her loved ones: for the big moments, for the little moments, or just as a reminder that she was proud of them. She was a constant source of peace and comfort for those in her life. In 1990, Donna returned to teaching at her kid’s school, Immaculate Heart of Mary. She was a steadfast presence at IHM for 30 years, primarily teaching 1st grade. Donna was able to touch so many lives in the classroom. She was influential in the life of her students, but also made a huge impact on parents and coworkers. IHM provided a lifelong community of faith and friendship for Donna. Donna’s blessing of family continued to multiply over the years with the addition of her four son-in laws, John (Ellen), Josh (Mary), Joe (Emily), Anthony (Abby) and one daughter in law, Danielle (H. Burch III). She delighted in festive parties for birthdays, St. Patrick’s Day, the Last Supper, Easter Egg Hunts, 4th of July putt putting, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and New Year’s Day. There was always a reason for her family to gather - Yankees games, Superbowl parties, movie nights, bonfires, gingerbread house making, Scrabble, Wiffle ball, and so much more. A weekend couldn’t pass without a family event, and Donna wouldn’t want it any other way. It was God’s fulfillment of the dream he had put in her heart long ago. Donna welcomed her first grandchild in 2001, Aidan, and she embraced her role as Grandma wholeheartedly. Aidan was followed by Riley, Ty, Kaison, Addison, Evie, Janice, Lyla, and “Xie”. Her grandkids would tell you she was the most awesome, entertaining, and loving grandmother. She played a huge role in the lives of all her grandchildren - attentending every event she could to cheer them on. She would host the best slumber parties, always help with schoolwork, and never missed an opportunity to share popcorn and ice cream with them. She carried on the tradition started by her own grandmother of gifting all her grandchildren Christmas pajamas on Christmas Eve. Typically humble, Donna would beam with pride when it came to her grandchildren, bragging not about their accomplishments, but their kindness, creativity, intelligence, hugs, and faith. Her family would say her favorite grandchild was always the one standing in front of her. She loved them all dearly and had a unique and special bond with each one of them. Ever seeking the chance to serve others, Donna volunteered and filled numerous needs– organizing Nursing Home Caroling at Christmas, volunteering at the food bank at St. Vincent De Paul, Mozel Sanders Foundation, Teachers Treasures, the Indianapolis Public Library, and many more. She was committed to a life of service despite having a busy life filled with family and work. She delighted in sharing these experiences with her children and grandchildren. She always had so much energy, enjoyed sharing with others, and extended endless empathy to those around her daily. Donna Rose Nunley accomplished so much throughout her beautiful life. Her greatest achievements include: The World’s Most Caring Sister, The World’s Most Amazing Wife, The World’s Greatest Mom, The World’s Best Grandma, The World’s Dearest Friend, The World’s Most Inspiring Teacher, and God’s Good and Faithful Servant. Donna Rose Nunley went to be with the Lord on May 22, 2024 surrounded by her family. She is preceded in death by her mother, Rose Hurrle, her father, WIlliam Hurrle, her brother, Frances Xavier Hurrle, her sister in law, Barbara Hurrle, her brother in law, Brad Smith, and her dear friends Alice and Stuart Countryman. Donna lived her life as a true follower of Christ with faith, hope and love in everything she did, every word she spoke, and in every moment she shared. The world is a better place because of Donna Rose Nunley and the legacy of her love will last forever. In lieu of flowers please make memorial contributions to A visitation for Donna will be held Monday, June 10, 2024 from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM at Leppert Mortuary – Nora, 740 East 86th St, Indianapolis, Indiana 46240. A Mass of Christian Burial will occur Tuesday, June 11, 2024 at 11:00 AM at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, 5692 Central Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana 46220.

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Past Services

Monday, 10 June, 2024


Tuesday, 11 June, 2024

Mass of Christian Burial