Donna was born March 3, 1939, in Camden, NJ, and passed with the hymn “How Great Thou Art” on her lips June 20, 2020, in Melbourne, FL.
In 1946 when she was 8, Donna moved with her parents to Kekaha, HI, and attended local schools until 1953, when the family moved to Honolulu. She graduated from the city’s Punahou School in 1957, then attended the University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She was working for a Honolulu advertising agency where her best friend set her up on a blind date that changed the course of her life forever. She fell in love with a young submariner named George, whom she wed in 1960. This August would have been their joyous 60th anniversary. The romance never ended.
Donna and her family lived at Pearl Harbor during successive navy tours. She and her husband, Capt. George B. Riefler USN (RET), raised their sons David and Doug and daughter Lynne. She lived throughout the Pacific and on both coasts of the United States, led Good News Clubs at every location, and saw countless children become Christians.
Donna & George eventually settled in Forsyth, Illinois, where they lived for 35 years before moving to Melbourne, Florida in 2019. In Forsyth, Donna remotely attended the renowned Moody Bible Institute, receiving her bachelor’s degree. As her multiple sclerosis progressed, her faith strengthened, leaving her family, friends, doctors, nurses, and caretakers astonished by her resilience and joy.
Donna is survived by her husband, George; her brother, Tony, his wife, Roxanne, their sons, Casey, his wife, Lindsay, and Rob; her children, David and Lynne; her son-in-law, George; her daughter-in-law, Molly; her grandchildren: Kaely, Kassidy, Karley, Markus, and Arabella; and her grandsons-in-law, James and Eli. She is now celebrating her Lord Jesus with her late son Doug, parents Horace and Julia, parents-in-law George and Edith, cousins Alan and Edmund, niece Sunni, and all the saints.
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