Donna Belle Bacon, daughter of Irl L. and Sadie E.M. (Nelson) Davis, was born on April 18, 1925, in Manhattan, Kansas. On July 8, 2020, Donna passed away peacefully at the Cedars and went to her heavenly home at the age of 95.
The Lord had called Donna’s father to be a pastor so her family moved about every three years during her school years as he was transferred to various congregations. Consequently, Donna attended several different schools before graduating from Central Christian Academy. Following graduation, Donna moved to her parent’s home in Manhattan, but jobs were difficult to find there since this was during World War II. A close friend of Donna’s that lived in Dodge City suggested that she try finding a job there. Reluctantly, her father gave her permission to go to Dodge City but with the strict instructions that if she didn’t find a job and a place to live within one week, she was to return home. The first day she arrived, she found both! Shortly thereafter, a young man came into the place where she was working and invited the four ladies in the office to go out for coffee. Little did she realize that the young man, Bub Keith, was trying to find some way to get to know who she was since he happened to be home on leave from the Naval Air Base. From then on, he invited only Donna out for coffee! After a short courtship, Bub proposed and they were married on March 26, 1945, in Cimarron, Kansas. Bub was then transferred to the Naval Air Base at Corpus Christi, Texas. Following Bub’s discharge from the service, they returned to Dodge City where they lived for two years. The young couple decided that they would like to move halfway between their parents’ locations and they ended up choosing McPherson.
Donna had several part-time jobs over the years. She worked at Prairie Gardens doing a variety of jobs. She worked for Floyd Lietz, a Public Accountant, helping to file income tax returns during tax season. She worked as a bookkeeper for San Ore Construction. She was working as the Secretary to the Purchasing Agent at NCRA when they were blessed with the addition of a son, David, and later a daughter, Donna Kay. Donna enjoyed nothing more than staying home to raise their children and see also assisted Bub however she could with his automotive business. On August 4, 1973, Bub tragically died in a car accident just west of McPherson. Donna worked part-time at Central Christian College after Bub passed away.
In early 1975, Elvin Bacon invited Donna to go out for coffee at the Happy Chef Restaurant following a Sunday evening church service. They visited for a long time that evening and decided to start dating. Donna and Elvin were married on December 19, 1975 in McPherson. (Donna always joked that you better be careful who you go out to coffee with! Two first coffee dates led to two marriage proposals!) Even though Elvin’s children were all married, she felt blessed with the addition of two step-daughters, Jean and Diane and one step-son Darrell. Donna was always thankful to be so loved and accepted by Elvin’s family.
When Elvin retired from NCRA, they enjoyed traveling across the United States in their camper with Craftsmen for Christ. They spent numerous summers in Westcliffe, Colorado until their health would no longer allow it. Donna loved to travel and especially loved to fish. She always enjoyed sewing, knitting, crocheting, and quilting. She made a quilt for all of the children and Donna loved to be on Facebook (before her eyesight became an issue) so she could keep up with what all of the family members were doing. She was amazing how she could remember everyone’s birthdays and always made sure to send a card.
Donna gave her heart to the Lord at the age of 12. She always knew that He was watching over her, but she readily admitted that there were several years that she strayed from Him. She returned to the Lord when she became a mother and was determined to never stray again. She was baptized on May 6, 1990. She often talked about how good the Lord had been to her and could share several examples of where He had provided for her. She greatly looked forward to the day that she would be in heaven! Her constant prayer was that all of her family would give their hearts to the Lord and follow Him. She was a member of the McPherson Free Methodist Church. Although Donna’s health kept her from attending church on Sunday morning, she loved going to the church service at The Cedars on Sunday evenings. She spent a lot of time in prayer for the prayer requests of the church as well as praying for her family.
Survivors include her daughter, Donna Kay Keith of McPherson, KS; her step-daughters, Jean Stevenson and husband, JR, of Newton, KS and Diane Parrish and husband, Wayne, of McPherson, KS; her step-son, Darrell Bacon and wife, Stephanie, of McPherson, KS; two grandchildren, Rena Hilty and Amber Buss; eight step-grandchildren, Valerie Bonham (Ed), Joshua Phillips (Tiffany), Nick Hutchinson (Hayley), Todd Jetton (Sabrina), David Parrish, Philip Parrish (Traci), Mark Bacon (Jackie) and Adam Bacon; six great-grandchildren, Darien Keith, Eva Shore, Jaydon Hilty, Bailey Keough, Jasmine Bledsoe, and Schayla Bledsoe; fifteen step-great-grandchildren, Kara Smith (Garrett), Aaron Wright, Jordan Phillips, Katelyn Phillips, Evander Hutchinson, Miles Jetton, Mia Jetton, Collin Parrish (Billie Jean), Bailey White, Avrey Parrish, Emory Parrish, Oren Parrish, Cade Bacon, Ellie Bacon, and Owen Bacon; one step-great-great-grandchild, Jaxson Rankin; sister-in-law, Elsie Sheriff (John) of North Newton, KS; sister-in-law, Doris Keith of McMinnville, OR; and many beloved extended family members.
Donna was preceded in death by her parents, her brother, Glen Davis, her husbands, Bub Keith, and Elvin Bacon, her son, David Keith, and her brother-in-law, Dean Bacon and his wife, June.
The memorial service will be held on Monday, July 13, 2020, at 10:30 a.m. at the McPherson Free Methodist Church with Dr. Tom Griffith and Dr. David Kessler officiating. At the deceased’s request, her body was bequeathed to the University Of Kansas School Of Medicine. Inurnment will take place in McPherson Cemetery at a later date.
Memorial donations may be given to the McPherson Free Methodist Church in care of Stockham Family Funeral Home, 205 North Chestnut, McPherson, KS 67460.
ABOUT CENTRAL CHRISTIAN COLLEGE OF KANSAS
Central Christian College of Kansas is a four-year collegiate institution that strives to offer Christ-centered education for the whole person through four core characteristics: heart, soul, mind, and strength. Its history dates back to 1884, and it is located in the friendly town of McPherson, Kansas. Central is a strategically small college that offers over forty areas of residential study and a thriving online program for non-traditional students. To learn more about Central, go to centralchristian.edu/about. Visit the Foundation of Central Christian College to see what projects and events are coming up.