Donna Lampley Dale

7 March, 194012 October, 2021

Donna Katherine Lampley Dale of Nashville, TN passed away peacefully at home on October 12, 2021. She was born in Burns, Tennessee on March 7, 1940.

Donna is survived by her daughter Melissa Thompson (Mark), stepdaughter Debby Dale Mason, grandchildren Perry Dale IV and Katherine “Kate” Thompson, great-grandson Perry Dale V, and siblings Patsy Graham (Lou), Dennis Lampley (Brenda), Dwight Lampley (Aggie), and Teresa Fussell (Johnny), plus four nieces, four nephews, six great nieces and eleven great nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Alex Eugene and Frances Howell Lampley; her husband, Perry Dale, Jr.; and her stepson, Perry Dale III.

Known for her radiant smile, vivacious personality, and infectious laugh, Donna never knew a stranger. She had a knack for making everyone feel special, and she was a friend to all. Family and friends were everything to Donna, and all agree that she was an incredible wife, mother, stepmother, grandmother, great-grandmother, daughter, sister, neighbor, and friend.

Donna was a woman of many talents, particularly her artistic capabilities. She shared her gifts in the many murals she painted in babies' rooms for family and close friends. She also shared her creative talents by hand-painting furniture, rocking chairs, and many other things for her daughter, Melissa, and grandchildren Perry and Kate. Beds, toy boxes, riding car toys … she brought whimsy and joy to all of these things and more. In fact, Donna’s love of Christmas was unmatched — perfectly wrapped packages with handmade bows, beautifully displayed garland and greenery, a large and enviable Snow Village collection, and no window was ever without a wreath!

Donna attended Dickson High School. After graduation, she moved to Nashville, where she worked for First American National Bank in the 1960s and Third National Bank in the 1970s. Throughout the 1980s, Donna and her husband, Perry, owned and operated popular music and events venue The Cannery. In the 1990s, she worked in the Office of the District Attorney General/Nashville-Davidson County, concluding her career in the role of Grand Jury Coordinator before retiring in 2005.

Donna also served in several philanthropic and volunteer roles throughout her life, including Richland Country Club Ladies Day Chairman, Italian Street Fair Chairman, and as a member of Friends of Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital.

From selecting window treatments and the perfect shade of paint to arranging a flawless bouquet of flowers and hosting large family gatherings with ease, Donna’s gifts were many and her love for family and friends was limitless. She will be missed by all who knew and loved her.

Pallbearers will be Scott Chase, Perry Dale IV, Jonathan Fussell, Brad Lampley, Justin Lampley, Troy Lampley, and Mark Swertfeger.

Honorary pallbearers will be Joyce Ashman, Jeri Barber, Sarah Barber, Pam Boyce, Judy Bullion, Abigail Byrn, Mary Ann Chase, Patsy Cochran, Becky Dugan, Betsy Duke, Alice and Bob Eadler, Martha Sue Edwards, Sam Ferrise, Jenny Ford, Cindy Fort, Priscilla Hargrove, Pam Kennedy, Kay Koch, Janie Burke Ledyard, Wish Long, Mary Lovelace, Sue McCall, Jayne Ann Milling, Mary Ann Moore, Cam and Jerry Neal, Frances Pratt, Suzanne Rhinehardt, Tina and Steve Rogers, Lisa Saltsman, Kate Shuck, Ashley and Martin Strobel, Wanda vonGruenigen, Mary Walsh, Mary Brugh Weber, and Diane West.

Donna’s family sends their sincere thanks to the most wonderful caregivers in her final stage of life, Korpu Bolton and Erika Murphy.

Visitation with the Dale family will be on Monday, October 18th from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., and on Tuesday, October 19th from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. A celebration of life will be held on Tuesday, October 19th at 11 a.m. Both the visitation and funeral service will be held at Marshall-Donnelly-Combs Funeral Home. Burial will follow at Woodlawn Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation - Tennessee Chapter, 4538 Trousdale Drive, Nashville, TN 37204. Please note that your gift is in memory of Donna Dale.


  • Gathering of Family and Friends

    Monday, 18 October , 2021

  • Gathering of Family and Friends

    Tuesday, 19 October , 2021

  • A Celebration of Life Service

    Tuesday, 19 October , 2021


Donna Lampley Dale

have a memory or condolence to add?

Patsy Cochrane

17 October 2021

Donna and I met at 19 when we both worked in the Finance Department at First American National Bank. I immediately liked her and enjoyed her personality and infectious laugh. I’m from a small town, Greenbrier, TN, and I wanted to find an apartment in Nashville and Donna just happened to be looking for a roommate to share hers! Donna came home with me and met my parents and they loved her too. I always enjoyed going to Burns and getting to know some of Donna’s family. My parents enjoyed going to Florida, especially Daytona Beach and Donna went with us too. In fact, she was there on vacation with me when I met my husband. I also went with Donna to visit her sister Patsy and her husband Louie in Alexandria, Virginia several times. We always had fun together. Even though after my marriage I didn’t live in Tennessee I did make sure I saw Donna every time I came there to spend time with my parents. I loved Donna and I feel blessed to have known her as my friend for over 60 years.

Judy Walp Bullion

17 October 2021

Donna and I grew up together in Burns from the first grade thru high school. Even after high school we remained close. Donna knew she could always come to my house for a coke. When she stayed overnight, she would have a coke for breakfast! We had lots of fun times and I loved her dearly.

Patty Liaupsin

15 October 2021

Dear Melissa and Family, one of the greatest blessings of my life was having a second mother, Donna Dale. I loved every moment that I spent with Donna when I was growing up. She was always there for me and Melissa’s friends. My fondest memories are opening the refrigerator and helping myself to a bottled coke and pimento cheese salad and then talking with Donna and Melissa. We will always have so many sweet and happy memories when we think about Donna.
With loving thoughts, Patty