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Life Story / Obituary
With a life that spanned times of great change in the world around her, Donna Reid lived a life of purpose while holding her loved ones near. She was kindhearted and gracious with a fun-loving spirit that drew others near. A more devoted mother would be hard to find, and Donna’s family was forever the focus of her life. With an unwavering faith as her constant companion, she was generous and accepting of everyone she met. Donna will be deeply missed, but she leaves behind a timeless collection of memories that her loved ones will forever cherish.
The year 1918 was a year to celebrate as America merged from WWI victorious and recognized as a world leader for the first time. With the eyes of the world focused on our shores for what was to come, we did not disappoint as we led the way in the decade that we commonly recall as the Roaring Twenties. This same year was a year to remember in the lives of Earl John and Grace Bell (Adams) McCrady as they were blessed with the birth of the baby girl they named Donna on April 7th. She was the only child to be raised in the family home at 129 East 8th Street in Owosso, Michigan, and she enjoyed things like riding her bike, music and dancing, and babysitting for children in the neighborhood as she loved children. Donna’s father was a teacher and later owned Owosso Business Institute (which later became the original location of Baker College) while her mother was a homemaker. Sadly, she was a passenger in a car when they got into an accident in which her cousin died. Donna attended local schools including Owosso High School where she participated in intramural sports, played both the piano and bass fiddle in school orchestra, and was involved in school plays. Donna later graduated in 1937.
New and exciting changes were in store for Donna when she met the young man who would forever hold the key to her heart. His name was Darrell Reid, and he was a woodworker for Bentley Corp in Owosso. After dating for eight years, Donna and Darrell eloped and were married at a Methodist Church in Waseon, Ohio, on May 4, 1940. Together they welcomed three children including Gary, Jerold, and Connie into their hearts and home. At first they lived at 311 West Williams Street in Owosso, but when Darrell got a job offer the family moved to Grand Rapids on August 2, 1947. Their first trip together was after their son Gary was born when they went to Niagara Falls. Donna ended up missing her baby so much that she was forever crying so they cut their trip short and headed home.
As a mother of three young children, Donna focused her time and attention in the home, but she had been working as an usher and cashier at a theater in Owosso, did clerical work at a physician’s office, played piano for dance classes at the Masonic Temple, and worked as a motor assembler at a company in Owosso while she was dating Darrell and when they were first married. During her later years Donna worked part-time for Weight Watchers. As a mother she was a fantastic mother who loved and trusted her children. When her children were small Donna loved keeping them clean and dressing them in cute clothes. Friends would often comment and ask how she kept their shoes so clean. In reality, Donna was meticulous about polishing their shoes and washing the laces during their nap time. She loved walking and strolling the children downtown. As her family and friends can attest, Donna was a fabulous cook. Anything she made was delicious, especially her homemade donuts and pies. As a family the Reids looked forward to vacations spent at Grandpa’s cottage at Sand Lake near East Tawas. They also took a trip to Sarnia, Ontario, and visited Mackinac Island.
Over the years Donna was a busy woman. When her children were young they attended North Park Presbyterian Church, and in her later years she and her husband were active at Plainfield Methodist Church. She also volunteered at the Plainfield Methodist clothing bank. Donna loved the big bands, Lawrence Welk, and Robert Goulet. Her cousin, Velma, played “The Mighty Werlitzer Organ” at the Capital Theater in Flint, and Donna loved to go over there and play before the theater doors were opened to the public. A sports fan, she followed the Tigers in earlier years, and in her later years she became more of a golf fan. When eating out, Donna loved going to Fingers Restaurant years ago, and she also liked Brann’s, Russ’, Bill Knapp’s, Arnie’s and Pizza Hut. However, Donna’s absolute favorite food was ice cream, and she also liked popcorn on Sunday evenings, her husband’s steak on the grill, chicken, and nearly anything with lemon flavor. There were so many things that had meaning to Donna including her photographs of family and friends, her organ, and the decorative dishes she kept on her dinette hutch. Donna was so sentimental as she saved all her greeting cards. She also collected thimbles, spoons, cups, and saucers. She was great at clipping coupons and often shared them with her family in birthday cards. Donna liked to look her best, always attending her weekly hair appointment, dressing well, and wearing some of her special pieces of jewelry.
Loving, kindhearted, and generous, Donna Reid was such a gift to others. She could be quite chatty and loved telling stories, often involving her family experiences. Donna had a great sense of humor and a zest for life that was truly contagious. A devoted family woman, she leaves behind a timeless legacy for her loved ones to carry on.
Mrs. Donna M. Reid aged 98, of Grand Rapids, passed away on September 8, 2016. She was preceded in death by her husband, Darrell; and sister and brother-in-law, Arlene and Clinton McKellar. Donna is survived by her children, Gary (Joyce) Reid, Jerold (Barb) Reid, and Connie (Jack) Eggleston; grandchildren, Mike (Karen) Reid, Tami Drummond, Danielle Reid, Adam (Jun) Reid, Aaron (Kristine) Reid, Mandy (Aaron) Wilson, Angela (Eric) Beleski, and Holly Eggleston; 10 great-grandchildren; brother-in-law, Dale (Mable) Reid and sister-in-law, Wanda Apsey. Donna will be remembered for her humor, sweet disposition, and her blueberry pies. She enjoyed playing her organ, watching sports, especially golf, and Dancing with the Stars. The immediate family will hold a private service. Interment in Rosedale Memorial Park. Contributions in her memory may be made to Hospice of Michigan or Samaritas Senior Living. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com to read Donna’s lifestory, archive a memory, photo or sign the guestbook.