Nancy Jane Donahue
Nancy Jane Helsel Donahue

Nancy Donahue, 86, peacefully passed away December 11, 2019, in Conroe, Texas.

Nancy was born on January 1,1933 to Eula Douglass Helsel and Dewey Lee Helsel in Sacramento, CA. She grew up in Sacramento, graduated from Sacramento High School in 1951, and from the Highland School of Nursing in Oakland, CA in 1953. She went on to earn her Associate Degree from Indian Hills Community College in 1971.

Nancy met Richard Donahue in 1954 when they were both working at Sacramento County General Hospital and they married on December 10, 1954. They lived in Florida and California while Rich was in the Navy and had three children: Cathy, Mike, and Cliff. In 1963, they moved to Centerville, Iowa and settled to raise their three children in Rich's home town.

Nancy's life was animated by a love of learning. She was a voracious reader and her knowledge was wide ranging. She treasured her family and instilled in her children her love of family, an incredible work ethic, and a passion for education. In her younger years she was an avid tennis player, a championship bowler, and golfer. Nancy was an enthusiastic stamp collector, was a Charter Life-Time Member of the American Philatelic Society, and traded stamps with collectors all over the world. She started playing the piano before the age of five and studied until after she graduated from high school.

Nancy opened her home to the youth of the community and the friends of her children were regular visitors to the Donahue's home. She was actively involved in Centerville girl and boy scout groups and performed as the Girl Scout Cookie Chairman for Appanoose County for five years in a row. She was a very proud member of Chapter KA, P.E.O. of Centerville, Iowa.

Nancy was a much beloved daughter, sister, wife and mother. She is survived by her children Cathy (Randy) of the Woodlands, TX; Mike of Palm Springs, CA; and Cliff of Madill, OK; by 10 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren; and her brother Jack Helsel of Susanville, CA. She is preceded in death by her parents Eula and Dewey Helsel; her husband Richard Donahue; her sister Jean Streader; and her brother Doug Reece.

A Life Celebration will be held for Nancy in the next few months in Centerville, IA; interment will be at Oakland Cemetery in Centerville, IA. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a gift in her memory to the Dementia Society of America.
Published on January 10, 2020


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Margery (Ewing) Davison
Jan 15, 2020
Nancy was a good women and she is going to be missed. Our condolences to her family. Her daughter Cathy and I had a lot of good memories.