OBITUARY

Donna J. McElfresh

July 16, 1935August 12, 2021
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Mrs. Donna J. McElfresh, 86, of Connersville died Thursday, August 12, 2021, at Reid Health, Richmond.

Donna was born to Kenneth and Mildred Kirtley Seybert on July 16, 1935 in Anderson, Indiana. She attended Middletown High School, graduating with the class of 1953. Donna married James M. McElfresh on December 23, 1956 in Middletown. She furthered her education and received her Bachelor’s degree from Ball State University the following year. Donna began teaching first grade at Bentonville Elementary. As luck would have it, her daughter and niece were in her first class. In 1967, Donna took a position teaching Kindergarten at Fayette Central. During this time she continued to further her education and received her Master’s degree in 1972. After twenty-five years of dedication to Fayette Central, Donna began assembling Fayette County’s first Head Start program; she was the Coordinator for fourteen faithful years. Lastly, Donna was the coordinator for Step Up early preschool, prior to her retirement in 2000. She was an avid member of several organizations including Altrusa, Extension Homemakers, Extension Board, United Way, Sweet Adeline’s, Indiana Schools Teacher Association, Retired Teachers Association, and was inducted in the Fayette County Teacher Hall of Fame in 2014. Donna greatly enjoyed reading, researching her family’s genealogy, tending to her cat, and making her famous homemade yeast rolls and cookies. Above all, Donna loved spending time with her family, especially her grand and great-grandchildren. She will be deeply missed by all the lives she has touched.

In addition to her loving husband of sixty-five years, Donna is survived by her daughter and her husband: Sheri Jent and John of Dublin; brother: Bob Seybert and Jane of Lapel; sister: Kay Seybert of Concord, California; daughter-in-law: Marcie McElfresh of Connersville; grandchildren and their spouses: Jennifer Ervin and Dan, Mary Richmond and Daniel all of Connersville, Stephen Vickers and Renee of Arkansas; step-grandson: Dustin Jent and Andrea of Muncie; six great-grandchildren; three step-great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews; special friend: Geneva Taylor.

Donna is preceded in death by her parents; son: Jeffery M. McElfresh; brother: Keith Seybert; two great-grandchildren.

A funeral service will be conducted at 2 p.m. Wednesday, August 18, 2021 at Showalter Blackwell Long, Myers Chapel, Connersville, Pastor Brian Jenkins officiating. Friends may visit the funeral home from 11 a.m. until the time of service. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Bentonville Fire Department in Donna’s honor.

  • DONATIONS

  • Bentonville Fire Department

Services

  • Visitation for Family & Friends

    Wednesday, August 18, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Wednesday, August 18, 2021

  • Burial

    Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Memories

Donna J. McElfresh

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John Roberts

August 18, 2021

It has been my great privilege to have known Donna both as a fellow member of the Head Start program and as a patient. I will always remember her smile and sense of humor. Know that you are in our prayers. Peace be with you.

Hans Rea

August 17, 2021

Donna was my 1st grade teacher for a short while. She was very warm and friendly. She was a very good cook. One year she made a Black Forest chocolate cherry pie for the Bentonville Fire house fish fry. It was so delicious that I asked her for the recipe for it and she mailed it to me. Jim and my father were very good friends. My father was best man at their wedding in 1956. It was really a blessing to know Donna. She had a very kind heart, and she was very intelligent.

Cory Miller

August 17, 2021

'Miss Donna' got me started on the journey I've come to call my own. She was a great teacher and sharing PACE with her and some of the other kids (some I still call my best friends even after all these yrs) are some memories I'll never forget.

You will be missed. May you rest in peace Miss Donna.

-Cory Miller

Geneva Taylor

August 15, 2021

I meet Miss Donna when i signed my son up for kindergarden she was the best person for me . I loved spending time with her talking about her Grand Childrens then they got married and had Childrens ,i would tell her to give me one .We had good talks about our families . When she become my boss at School she never changed how we felt about each other[ i kidded about her and Arelene black mailing George to hire me ] Ha

She was my special friend and like a mother to me .I sure will miss going up to see her once a month i half to go agervate Jim once a month [Ha] . After she retired we would ask her to go have lunch with the Head start group and she loved it . I would cook beans ,potatoes and sausage plus other food take her and she was so excited over it .I.We cried on each other shoulders .I loved you Miss Donna .

Jill Yaryan

August 14, 2021

Jim, Sheri, and family,
Please accept my condolences on Donna's death. Not only was I grateful my daughter's were blessed to have her for their teacher, but, I was blessed to be paired up with her as an aid in her classroom. She truly was a special Friend and educator. She knew how to make learning fun and was able to help each student to develop his and her talent. I often think of her while seeing and hearing different birds singing. Hoping all your special memories will give you comfort!

Bev Higbie

August 14, 2021

My children were very fortunate to have Ms. Donna at Fayette Central. I am so happy that she was their teacher!!! Ms. Donna definitely had a love for teaching and a special love for children.

Mari Doty

August 13, 2021

I'm sorry to here Donna pasting away . We have Gained Beautiful Angel in Heaven she watching over her love one's . Alway's remember everything she teach you when you was growing up Cherish all the Memories and Treasures she show a long way . Because that's Donna " Mom" when you see a Butterfly, Humming Bird, Red Cardinal she can hear you talk about to her.
Noami , Anita Doty


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