On Aug. 16, 2014, some of the Earth’s sunshine ascended to Heaven; and Heaven became quite a bit brighter as it received our Mother, Wife, and Love, with her ubiquitous smile which radiated Heaven as it did when she entered your presence here on earth; and made your heart warm and happy. Donna passed from this earth into the arms of the Lord on that day in Manhattan, Mont.
Donna (Beth Meisner) was born Oct. 7, 1944, in San Diego, Calif., at a time when her father, Robert Meisner, was serving as a Marine during World War II in the Pacific Theater. Upon her father’s discharge, she, together with her father, mother Ann (Artzer) Meisner, and siblings moved back to the family’s home at Merino where they returned to farming. As a young girl she and her brother, Robert Jr. “Bud”, milked 18 cows by hand every day until her graduation from high school.
Subsequent to high school, she married Richard Mari of Merino, and four beautiful children came of the marriage, Cheri Kae Clampitt of Manhattan, Mont., Rhonda Sue Coman of Aurora, Gina Lea Ford of Raymer, and Richard “Rick” Lee Mari of Manhattan, Mont. The family farmed there at Merino until the marriage ended in divorce.
Thereafter, Donna moved to Grand Junction in 1976, where-upon she married Roger Bennett, and with the children, they moved to Delta where she became employed with Delta Mental Health, worked as a transcriber for an orthopedist and as a purchasing agent for Mt. Sopris Instruments, a borehole logging instrument company. She and Roger divorced.
On May 2, 1987, she married James E. Masson, a local lawyer practicing in Delta. They lived in the North Fork area of Delta County and subsequently moved to Crawford on a ranch where they raised and sold registered Gelbvieh bulls. Jim lawyered and Donna did most of the ranching, haying, feeding and selling. In 1999 they sold out and moved to Cedaredge. During this time, Donna demonstrated and sold Arbonne cosmetic products. She had many ladies working for her as well. After moving to Cedaredge she bought Steffi’s Boutique which featured unique ladies’ fashions. She also sold and recruited ladies to sell Park Lane Jewelry. Prior to that she had bought, subdivided, and sold some residential property in Grand Junction as well as Cedaredge. She was a born salesman. She believed in her products, be it cosmetics, clothing, real estate or jewelry and made them exciting, and made you more excited about them than she was. As a consequence, you just had to have them.
At Cedaredge, Donna learned to play golf and golf she did: a winner of many tournaments. She was a member of the ladies’ league at Cedaredge. On Sept. 29, 2005, she got her first hole-in-one and was instrumental in her team winning the Double D travelling trophy.
Donna liked to gamble and was very successful at it as casinos in Nevada and southern Colorado can attest. She loved to cook and her cuisine creations were scrumptious. She loved to create afghans and did so for all her grandchildren. She was a wonderful mother, a life’s companion and friend always true. She just radiated love and made your heart smile. She will be sorely missed by all whose presence she graced.
Donna is survived by her husband, Jim; her children, Cheri (husband Lance Clampitt and grandchildren Cassi and Cahle), Rhonda (husband Jeff Coman and grandchildren Taran and Drew), Gina (husband Jeff Ford and grandchildren J.R, Alexandra and Hannah, and great-grandchild Hadley), Richard “Rick” Lee Mari, (wife Charlene “Charlie” and grandchildren Kira, Sawyer, and Alexa); her siblings, Norma Jean Brown of Lakeside, Calif., Lou Freeman of Sterling and Bonnie Roth of Ft. Lupton; her stepchildren, Cindy Gallagher of Euclid, Ohio, Emily Wesson of Telluride and Douglas Masson of Lafayette, Ind.
Donna was predeceased by her parents, Robert and Ann Meisner of Sterling; brothers, Robert Jr. “Bud” and Ricky Lee.
Private services are being held by the family.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Bozeman Deaconess Foundation (memo line: Hospice), 931 Highland Blvd., Bozeman, MT 59715, which took loving care of her to the end.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service, www.dokkennelson.com.