Donna Meyer Steele, 83, of Rockford, Illinois died on Wednesday, August 12, 2020.
Donna Arlene Murtey was born on March 14, 1937 to Clarice (Wenberg) and Ivan Murtey in Moline, Illinois. She grew up in Moline with her brother, Dale. After graduating from Moline High School in 1954, she attended Western Illinois University, where she met her first husband, Jerry Lyle Meyer. She later received a Masters degree in Education from Northern Illinois University - Lorado Taft.
Donna and Jerry were married on May 30, 1958 and settled in Mt. Morris, Illinois, where they taught school and raised their sons, Tod and Scott, until Jerry’s death in 1994.
Donna taught at Mt. Morris Elementary School for over 30 years and later worked as a truancy officer for the school district. She loved music and was delighted to teach music to her elementary students. She also taught private piano and voice lessons. Donna was active in her church choir, community music groups, including Sweet Adelines, and community theater.
She was a lifelong dog-lover and always had a pet schnauzer at her side. She groomed dogs and she and Jerry also bred dogs for show.
Donna loved traveling and making friends along the way. After retirement, she spent winters in Destin, Florida and traveled around the country visiting friends and family.
Donna received a second chance at love when she met Carl Eugene Steele. They were married on December 30, 2004. Donna and Carl settled first in Mt. Morris, then in Rockford, Illinois. Together, Donna and Carl enjoyed traveling around the US, cruising to new destinations, supporting music and arts in Rockford, and spending time with their children and grandchildren.
Since 2015, Donna was a resident in the memory care unit at Cherryvale Place.
Donna is survived by husband, Carl Steele, sons Tod (Victoria) Meyer of Klein, Texas and Scott (Joan) Meyer of Loves Park, Illinois, granddaughters Madeline, Rebecca, Gabrielle, Caroline Meyer of Klein, Texas and Isabella Meyer of Loves Park, Illinois, brother Dale Murtey of Orange, California, and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Clarice and Ivan Murtey, stepfather Emil “Jack” Nagel, and first husband Jerry Meyer.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, August 21, 2020 at 11am at Finch Funeral Home, 405 East Hitt St. in Mt. Morris, Illinois. On Saturday, August 22, 2020, Donna’s remains will be buried at Roselawn Cemetery in Moline, Illinois.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Donna’s memory to Heifer International, one of her favorite philanthropies.
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