Donna Mae Ramsey Smith, 87, departed this earthly life to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Saturday, June 6, 2015. Donna was born in Huntington, WV, and lived most of her life in Raleigh.
Donna attended Marshall University, where she met her husband of 52 years, William Preston Smith, whom she married in 1953. During the Korean Conflict, Preston was stationed in Seoul, Korea and Donna moved to Washington, DC, where she held numerous positions with the Navy Department and the FBI. Upon Preston’s discharge from the Army, he and Donna were married in Chevy Chase, MD in 1953 and subsequently moved to Charleston, WV where they started their family.
Throughout the years, the family lived in Dunbar and Cross Lanes, WV, moving to Raleigh in 1966. The family remained in Raleigh until Preston was transferred to Kalamazoo, MI in 1988, where he and Donna lived until Preston’s retirement in 1990, at which time they moved to Bradenton, FL. Donna and Preston returned to Raleigh in 1996.
Donna was a devoted Christian and was a member of Bay Leaf Baptist Church, where she was a member of the Keenagers and was the founder of the Bay Leaf Quilters Guild. Donna enjoyed a lifelong love of sewing, knitting, crocheting and mainly quilting. Her most passionate cause in life over the last 20 years was quilting baby quilts for the Bay Leaf Baptist Church missionaries, who delivered her baby quilts all over the world: Kenya, Thailand, and many other countries around the globe. Her love of quilting has touched people all over the world and it kept her spirit alive to the very end of her life.
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Donna had many special friends and caregivers, most especially Julia Jacobs, Giorgianna Hippert, Alease Scott, and Don Gilbert. Julia, Giorgianna, Alease, and Don spent many hours with Donna in her final years and Donna cherished each and every minute of their fellowship, whether it was singing along to hymns or getting beaten in Scrabble.
Donna is preceded in death by her husband William Preston Smith, Sr., her mother, Pauline Butcher, brother Carroll L. Ramsey of Sarasota, FL, and sister L. Frances Ramsey of Falls Church, VA.
Donna is survived by her four children: David P. Smith (Mary), Diana Smith (Robert Zuccarelli), Carolyn Jeffreys (Tim), and William P. Smith, Jr. (Marjorie); and grandchildren Helen, Ward, Evan and Leith Smith, all of Wake Forest and Raleigh. Donna is also survived by her very special four-legged feline son, TT, who was her constant companion.
Visitation will be held Tuesday, June 9, 2015 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at Renaissance Funeral Home, 7615 Six Forks Rd., Raleigh 27612. Funeral service will be held Wednesday, June 10, 2015 at 11:00am at Bay Leaf Baptist Church, 12200 Bayleaf Church Rd. Raleigh NC 27614. Interment in the church cemetery.