Donna Lynn Lewis, 64, passed away peacefully in her home on Monday, February 4, 2019. She was born in Texas City, TX, on August 21, 1954, to her loving parents, Donald and Alyne Duke.
In Donna’s early years, her father’s career moved the family around the South, making stops in Arkansas, Tennessee and Louisiana before finally settling back down in Texas City. Her childhood years were spent playing with her sister, Beth, and cousins, summer days on her grandparents’ Mississippi farm, day trips to Galveston beach, dance classes and piano lessons. She enjoyed attending Sunday school at The First Baptist Church of Texas City and her strong faith followed her throughout her life. Donna attended Texas City High School, where she served as a member of the band and performed as the baton twirler. She excelled in academics, graduating high school with honors, earning her acceptance to the University of Texas at Austin. During college, Donna joined the Alpha Phi sorority where she made many cherished friends and memories. She continued to shine academically, managing to complete the five year Bachelors in Science in Pharmacy program in just four years, making her parents very proud.
After graduating college, Donna moved to Houston and began her career as a pharmacist working at Eckerd Drug. During this time she started working with another young pharmacist, Emmett Lewis. He was a country boy and wasn’t sure if she would be interested in him since Donna was so pretty and stylish. Not to mention he was an Oklahoma Sooner and she was a Texas Longhorn. He took a chance and invited her out to a local burger place, Hamburgers by Gourmet, with some of his friends and she accepted. They had an instant connection. Donna and Emmett both enjoyed dancing, water skiing, snow skiing and hanging out with their friends and family. The two were married on March 10, 1979, in Texas City. After marrying, they relocated to the Dallas area. They chose to live in Rowlett, TX, because of the great schools and the neighboring lake. Donna worked as a pharmacist at Lake Point Medical Center in Rowlett and at Option Care in Rockwall.
In 1981, Emmett and Donna were expecting their first child. The couple had planned a January ski trip but Donna, being in her third trimester, decided to stay home. She insisted Emmett go on the trip, but an unexpected early delivery had Emmett rushing to get back to Dallas where together they welcomed their first son, Chad. In April 1983, they welcomed their daughter, Angela, and their family was complete. Donna was destined to be a mother and was a natural at it. She attempted to put Chad in daycare but he cried so much she couldn’t take it. She un-enrolled him that very first day and dropped her work hours to part time to keep him home with her. She made sure there was always a fun craft to be done, a heart-shaped sandwich in their lunch box on Valentine’s Day, and a home-cooked dinner each night. She was active in their school PTA and ensured they were in every sport and extra-curricular activity there was to offer. She enjoyed spoiling her kids. If their Dad said ‘no’ the kids would just go to Donna and she would talk him into it. Donna was a loving and devoted wife. She was intentional in making time for her marriage, scheduling babysitters so she and Emmett could have date nights and taking trips to Jamaica and Hawaii, while the kids stayed with their grandparents.
Donna was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 1992. At this time there wasn’t much known about MS but she was determined to enjoy life to the fullest, for as long as she could and that is exactly what she did. With the help and support of her loving husband, she was able to have a long life doing what she loved most – spending time with family and traveling. Through the years, she enjoyed many family camping trips to Lake Murray, bringing her family back to her old stomping grounds at Galveston Beach, going on annual ski trips to places like Crested Butte and Lake Tahoe, visiting the beautiful state of Alaska, exploring Yellowstone National Park, San Francisco, Washington D.C., and many other wonderful places. One of her favorite places to visit was Destin, FL. The family discovered this area on their drive to Disney World in 1989 and made many trips back through the years with friends, family and eventually with grandchildren. Donna was a very caring person, not only to her family, but to all of her friends. She made lasting friendships through the years between grade school, college, coworkers, neighbors and her children’s friends’ parents. Donna had a giving heart and it made her happy when the people around her were happy.
Donna was preceded in death by her mother, Alyne W. Duke and father, Donald A. Duke. Donna is survived by her husband of 39 years, Emmett; her son, Chad; her daughter, Angela and her husband, Matt; grandchildren, Scarlett and Grant; sister, Beth and her husband, Eric; in addition to many beloved cousins, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews and friends. Donna will be greatly missed by her loving family, devoted friends and all the wonderful individuals who knew and loved her.
Funeral services will be held 10:00am, Monday, February 11, 2019, at Reflections at Rest Haven Funeral Home-Rockwall Location. Interment will follow in Rest Haven Memorial Park. A gathering of family and friends will be held prior to the service, beginning at 9:00am.