Donna Marie Ward Wells, 96, formerly of Denver, Colorado passed away on March 16, 2023 in Greeley, Colorado. Donna was born December 3, 1926 in Holly, Colorado to Charley Orville Ward and Effa Ward (Smith).
Growing up during the depression, her family made many sacrifices and she had many household tasks as a child. At the young age of eight, she sold homemade cottage cheese door-to-door in the small town of Holly, which made her comfortable greeting neighbors and being asked into their homes. She took great pride in knowing her route and completing her tasks. It was not surprising that Donna excelled academically in school and was an honor student who graduated as the salutatorian of the Class of 1944 from Holly High School.
She attended Colorado University for one year after high school, and then enrolled in the Cadet Nurse Corp in 1945 during World War II. Her nurses’ training included rotations at Colorado General Hospital in Denver, adult training in St. Paul, Minnesota, obstetrics in Colorado Springs, the Pueblo Psychiatric Hospital, Veterans’ Hospital in Albuquerque, and finally, she returned to Colorado where she completed her nurses’ training at Children’s Hospital as a Registered Nurse. During those years of training, she formed deep, caring friendships with her 15 fellow classmates that bonded them for a lifetime.
While Donna was in Albuquerque, she met and later married Kenneth Eugene Wells. Together they had three children. She was a committed mother and, after divorcing, was the sole provider for her three daughters, displaying a strong female Christian role model in the 1950s and throughout her life. The life-lessons she brought from her mother and father, valuing hard work, education, strength of character, and, above all, helping others, will always be cherished by her daughters.
Donna worked as a Private Duty Nurse, providing exceptional nursing care for many families in Denver area hospitals. During her career she was known for her commitment to nursing, bringing her strong work ethic, knowledge, and deep compassion to the bedside. Because of her dedication to the medical field, Donna decided to donate her body to scientific research.
When she moved to Greeley, her search for a church led her to Fellowship Chapel, where she was a devout member and found her spiritual home with a circle of loving friends who were always grateful for her cordial style of welcoming new people and anyone sitting alone.
Always conscious of her hometown roots, during her later years she singlehandedly created over 250 silk flower arrangements to decorate graves at the Holly Cemetery. She took satisfaction in staying in touch with friends through letter writing where she shared her daily life in her beautiful penmanship. Her commitment to walking kept her physically fit, and she prided herself on never needing a walker.
Donna is survived by her three children, Tegen Hopkins Greene (aka Barbara Lynn) of Keaau, HI, Pamela Kay Turan (Michael) of Walworth, NY, Virginia Rae Leuchter (Fred) of Greeley, CO, three grandchildren, Keith Brandon Leuchter, Jane Marie Leuchter, Spencer John-Anthony Turan, three great-grandchildren and two nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents and her beloved brother, Charley Lee Ward.
Donna Wells will be deeply missed by her family, friends and church congregation. A private service was held to celebrate her life and passage to heaven.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Holly High School for senior scholarships:
The Holly/Hartman Alumni Association, PO Box 523, Holly, CO 81047
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