Berniece “Nana” Donathan

Berniece "Nana" Donathan
Berniece “Nana” Donathan

Berniece “Nana” Donathan, 96, of Wildorado, passed away on Sunday, October 17, 2021, following the Dallas Cowboys win over the New England Patriots. Services will be held at 3:00 PM, Thursday, October 21, 2021, at Palo Duro Baptist Church in Wildorado, TX., with Steve Leavitt, officiating.

Nana was born on November 1st, 1924, to Hoyt and Verta Evans. She married Joyce “Ardell” Donathan on June 14th, 1941. They were married 64 years before Ardell preceded her in death in 2005. Together they had three children, Winfred Dell, Delores, and Kenny. In the early years of their marriage, they lived and farmed in Amarillo, Dell City, River Road, and then finally homesteaded in Wildorado where they would spend the rest of their days.

Nana worked for the United States Post Office during World War II and later became a hairdresser. She opened a salon behind her home in Wildorado and then went on to own and operate the Vega Beauty Shop for many years. She was a member of the Palo Duro Baptist Church for 60 years.

Nana could often be found gardening, mowing, working on her home, cooking, or caring for her large family. She spent her spare time quilting, fishing, and cheering on her favorite football teams, especially the Dallas Cowboys. Her kitchen knew no strangers and there is no way to count the many mouths she has fed. A sign hung on her doorframe that appropriately read “cafeteria”. She was best known for her rhubarb cake, fresh garden meals, homemade hominy, apricot fried pies, and fried chicken. She was “Nana” to any and everyone who knew her. Her life was an inspiration as she spent it working hard, living fully, and loving well. The last sentence on the first page of her Bible reads in her handwriting, “all is well with my soul”.

Nana was preceded in death by her husband Ardell and her son Winfred. Survivors include her daughter Delores Richards and husband, John of Bandera and her son Kenny Donathan and wife, Dianna of Amarillo; six grandchildren Shannon Leavitt and wife, Debbie, Steve Leavitt and wife, Marty, Shalene Johnson and husband, William, Angeline George and husband, Doug, Jenny Ansaldo and husband, Doug, and Dina Pendergrass and husband, Ty; 24 great-grandchildren, 9 great-great-grandchildren with another due soon.

The family would like to thank Brookdale Sleepy Hollow for the love and care they have shown Nana. Memorials may be made to Palo Duro Baptist Church.



4 Replies to “Berniece “Nana” Donathan”

  1. Kenny, Dee and family, I am so sorry to hear of your Mother’s passing. She has left a great legacy for her family and friends. I will always remember her fondly. May you find peace and comfort in all your memories.

  2. My heart and prayers are with all of you at this time of healing. Those last words in her bible ‘all is well with my soul’ I feel are words Nana took every step of confidence in faith for those many years she shared her heart with her family. As a friend of the family, the moment I met this family I felt the love that Nana braided within all those she came across and loved so dearly.
    Her sparkle was and continues to be in my dear friend, Dina, along with her siblings, Jenny & Angeline. This sparkle translates to love of family, love for others and most importantly love for God. This sparkle continues through each one of the family members and whom they come across in this world will be dusted with their presence only to be left thinking ‘wow that is a special person right there’. It is her (Nana’s) love, obedience and faith that will continue to ripple through the generations on earth and now with our Heavenly Father. Now gifted with the memories and armed with ‘the sparkle’ continue her work of love, obedience and faith.
    I personally thank Nana because I have never met a family so tightly knitted together, loved and bonded. I appreciate the example along with the experience of what this love looks like, feels like and acts like towards one another.
    Thank you Nana for your unwavering obedience.

  3. So sorry for your loss but so grateful for the wonderful life Nana lived and all those she touched. I met her once and look forward to seeing her again in Heaven.

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