Donna Arlene Manhart was born November 6, 1933 near Camargo, Oklahoma to Jesse and Millie Dyke, the seventh of nine children. She passed away in her home on November 4, 2020 just two days before her 87th birthday.
She attended school at Stone and Vici until the family moved to Arnett when she was nine years old. Her parents owned the laundry and she had many happy memories of the large family. Her first paying job was to pick up towels from the barber shop and the cafes and wash, iron and deliver them. She graduated from Arnett with the Class of 1951. She kept in contact with those classmates by phone, letter and reunions until a few years ago.
She met Bob Manhart at the American Legion dances at Arnett. They married on July 14, 1951 and danced through life and its turns and twirls for 62 happy years until his passing on January 12, 2014. They lived with his parents, Robert and Essie, while they were building their home. Bob and his dad had already put in a dairy barn on Turkey Creek. Karen Sue born 1952, and Barbara Arlene born 1953 were born while they lived at Durham. After a few years Bob drove a truck and hauled cattle and they moved to Oklahoma City. They moved back to be closer to family and Bob worked on some ranches in Ellis County. They lived in the Ioland community for six years and Clayton was born in 1958 while they lived on the Nicholson Ranch. Donna wrote the news for the Ellis County Capital during this time. There were no phones so she would make short visits to the neighbors. She hand wrote the news on typing paper. In May of 1963 the family moved back to Durham to the farm. They started a dairy and also a feed business. Melburn Justin was born in 1972 and completed the family. She worked her whole life as a faithful farm wife, helped milk cows, feed calves, helped build fence and pulled an auger to help unload feed. She helped with any farm chore and also helped with the angora goats that they raised for a few years. She was a full time wife, mother, motherin- law, grandmother, great grandmother and great great grandmother.
She spent many hours helping with the community events, showers, funeral dinners, the Durham Christmas tree, selling pecans for DWW and a teacher for the adult class at church. Donna was a member of the Durham Baptist Church, a member of the Durham Willing Workers Club for 48 years and a charter member of the Durham Quilting Bees. She embroidered baby quilts for every new family member and close friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Bob, her parents, all her siblings and spouses, Don (Betty) Dyke, Frank (Leatha) Dyke, Buddy Dyke, Dale Dyke, Daisy (Gib) Wildman, Lida (Albert) Dotson, Mary Emma Dyke, and Ila Mae Dyke.
She is survived by her children, Karen (Danny) Harman, Barbara (Jack) Hawkins, Clayton (Christy) Manhart, Mel (Trudy) Manhart. Grandchildren, Kandy (Doug) Stevens, Daren (Kristi) Harman, Adam Hawkins, Joel (Angie) Hawkins, Gena (Dane) Davis, Destinee Manhart, Molly Manhart, Cash Manhart. Great grandchildren, Kailey (Blake) Bullock, Dalton Stevens, Dason Harman, Kynsli Harman, J.W. Hawkins, Horatio, Brenner Hawkins, Waylon Hawkins, and Harper Hawkins, Jon Davis, Huck Lowry, Tucker Lowry. Great Great grandchildren, Brooklyn and Blaire Bullock. One sister in law, Eva Manhart Atcuson. Nine nieces and nephews and numerous greats and many old friends.
The family wants to extend special thanks to long time care giver and friend Mary Jahnel and also Traditions Hospice for their care and excellent service. Graveside services were held Saturday, November 7, 2020 at Fairview Cemetery, Durham, Oklahoma.