Donna A. Harvey passed away peacefully at the age of 87 on September 5, 2022, after suffering a stroke.
She was preceded in death by her husband Joseph B. Harvey, parents Don and Ardith Askins, daughter Amy Dandois, stepson Warren Harvey, grandson Joseph Maximilian Dandois and grandson Jerad Harvey. She is survived by her brother Ken Askins (Sandy); daughter Leslie Dandois (Dale Beesmer); son James Dandois (Nicole); stepchildren Jean Pope (Gary), Thomas Harvey (Judy), Mary Harvey, Kate Harvey-Lee (Kenneth) and many grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Donna was born on August 10, 1935, in Yerington, Nevada, to Don and Ardith Askins. She spent her childhood learning to play the piano and organ, playing in the local Baptist Church at a young age. She also enjoyed spending time with cousins riding her horse Frisky around the Mason Valley. Their family camped and spent many weekends at rodeos.
She Attended Pomona College in Southern California, so different then the rural Nevada town of Yerington. Her time at Pomona was spent sitting alongside Kris Kristofferson on the school’s yearbook Committee.
After graduating from college with a degree in English she came back to Reno, Nevada, and worked at the University of Nevada, Reno. During the 1960 winter Olympics held in Squaw Valley Lake Tahoe she would catch a bus to perform for the Olympic athletes. It was during this time she met Walter Dandois. They were wed in 1960. Donna also started teaching 4th grade that year at Elmcrest Elementary School in Reno, Nevada.
Donna and Walter had 3 children together: Leslie 1961, Amy (deceased) 1964 and James 1966. The family moved to Susanville, California, where Donna stayed at home and took care of the family. She was a devoted mother, whether it was taking James fishing up Piute Creek or helping Leslie with her horse Blue Girl. When James started school Donna went back to work teaching 5th and 6th grade for over 20 years at Diamond View Middle School. Donna also taught many youths how to play the piano from our home.
In 1981 Walter and Donna divorced. This was a time of turmoil as she was working and taking classes to help with her career while dealing with a teenage boy. Sometime after this she started dating the man who would become her soulmate, Joseph Harvey. They married on December 24, 1983, in Yerington, Nevada. This adventure would last until Joseph’s passing in 2019. Their life was full of adventure, traveling to the British Isles, a trip to Joseph’s birthplace Hankow, China, a Ryne River Cruise and many other adventures. There was never a dull moment with them.
It was also a time when two family’s blended and became one. Donna was known as Grandma Donna to all her grandchildren — whether step or biological, she loved them all unconditionally. Joe and Donna were the pillars of the family, helping family members when in need, never asking for anything in return. Those who knew Donna were blessed, those who called her mom, grandma etc. were truly blessed.
Memorial Services are planned for 11 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022, at the Susanville United Methodist Church, with reception following. In lieu of flowers the family asks donations to be made in Donna Harvey’s name to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.