Donna Giger

Donna R. Giger (Dicharry)

Wednesday, February 26th, 1947 - Sunday, September 20th, 2020
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Donna Rae Marie Giger, age 73, passed away on September 20, 2020, following a short battle with metastatic colon cancer.

Donna was an active and beloved member of the Missouri Council of the Blind as well as the local Springfield Service Club of the Blind affiliate. In past years, she was also involved with the Lion’s Club and the Joplin Service Club of the Blind. Over the past 40 years she has served in many roles within the blind community alongside with her husband Leo, who preceded her in death in 2012. It was this passion to help others that led her to receive numerous awards over the years for her service to the blind community. She grew up in Joplin, Missouri and as a McAuley High School alumna, enjoyed attending several class reunions in recent years.

Donna is survived by her stepdaughter Kim Giger of Kansas City, MO; her daughter Denise Nance (Wes) of Gladstone, MO; grandchildren Taylor Giger and Nathan Nance; brother Jim Dicharry (Bunny) of Neosho, MO; sister Cindy Logsdon (Wayne) of Joplin, MO and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband Leo Giger, stepson Ray Giger, brother Don Dicharry Jr, father Don Dicharry Sr and mother Rae (Bourgeois) Dicharry.

A graveside service will take place on Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 11:00 AM at Maple Park Cemetery in Springfield, MO with Fr. Fergus Monaghan officiating. Arrangements by Herman Lohmeyer Funeral Home in Springfield, MO.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Missouri Council of the Blind.
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Memorial Program

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Service Details

  • Memorial Graveside Service

    Saturday, October 10th, 2020 | 11:00am
    Saturday, October 10th, 2020 11:00am
    Maple Park Cemetery
    300 W. Grand Street
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

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Private Condolence

Kim and Taylor Giger

Posted at 12:38pm
I will always remember Donna for the life she helped my father lead. With Donna the sight barriers disappeared for him. She proved to him he could travel and do everything sighted people could do. She worked tirelessly beside my father in the blind community. Where there was a gathering, convention, camp, or meeting Donna was there. Dad would get to sit and enjoy the meetings, Donna was working meeting, helping everyone who needed help. They would come home from National conventions and Donna would be exhausted. She had run microphones around the convention center to those that could not see, helped them get seated, helped get to the bathroom or their rooms, keep records, etc. She was tireless in her volunteering and helping at all events. My dad would volunteer then she would do the work beside him. If there was a problem, people would come to my Dad, then Donna and my Dad would work on the solutions, whether it was housing, a need for a CCTV, or a bus route, they together were involved in finding the solution. With Donna, my dad had a good and full life. Donna gave selflessly to him and the blind. For this I am grateful.

But what Donna was best at, was being a Grandmother. In the early months of Taylor’s life, my dad would search for reasons to have Taylor—every day if possible. He got to hold her and cuddle, Donna only got her when she needed a new diaper or to be fed. After she did the “dirty” jobs. my Dad would take back over. But when Taylor got older, it was Grandma that sat at the table for hours and hours doing artwork, making jewelry, reading, etc. In Donna, Taylor had a willing playmate for anything. When she discovered flashlights, I came in to find Donna on her knees beside the bed, under the covers, dripping wet with sweat. Hher hair as wet as if she had been in the shower. They had been reading by flashlight for HOURS, playing games, etc. Taylor was having fun, so Donna stayed and played. Donna and Taylor also LOVED to make concoctions. It did not matter, what went in them sugar, juice, lemon, salt, ketchup, etc., Donna would teach Taylor about the changing color, changing taste, etc. Then they would try to get Papa to taste it. Rarely, did Papa taste their nasty concoctions, sitting there knowing what all they put in them, but Donna always did. When it came to Taylor, she was always ready.

Dad and Donna were always there for school events, parties, games, and adventures , whether it was in Colorado or Missouri. The two of them were the best Grandparents a young child could ask for. When Taylor started running, Donna was part of our early Saturday morning road crew. Up in the dark, off to a 5k somewhere around the Springfield area. And when Donna and Taylor found a candle shop, Dad and I would find a place to sit, knowing that they would be in there for at least an hour, smelling EACH AND EVERY candle at least one time. Donna was Taylor's partner in crime.

Donna and my Dad were known for their gardens. With Donna by his side, the garden grew bigger and bigger each and every year. We joked they would need to buy the adjoining property if it got any bigger, and they TRIED to do just that. Donna learned how to can, so their shelves were always full of the “fruits” of their labor. Dad and Donna loved to teach Taylor all about gardening and encouraging her to try all things from the garden. I credit them a lot for Taylor’s love of anything and everything from the earth. Many times when Taylor was little, I would come to pick her up, only to find her digging potatoes with Papa and Grandma, covered in dirt, hands, feet, and face. Her hands would always be filled with fresh produce… and sometimes worms. Donna would be there camera in hand and a smile on her face. Together, they were the best Grandparents a girl could have.

While Donna did not get to spend as much time with Nathan, she was always there with a brag book, telling anyone and everyone who would listen of his successes, his cars, and every single step he made as he progressed in Scouts. When he started his mowing business, you would have thought it was hers. She knew every piece of equipment he added to his business in great detail. Although we live in KC near Nathan, we knew more about his business from her, than we ever did from him. She LOVED to share all the great things he achieved. She truly missed not being a bigger part of his life.

Towards the end, Donna and Taylor spent time talking about the colleges she was interested in. When they would talk, Donna gave Taylor suggestions, Arkansas, Alabama, etc. She was delighted when Taylor had a coach from Louisiana reach out, because she had family there. As everyone knows, Donna had a great databank of trivia facts. No matter where Taylor mentioned, she had tidbits to share about the town, or state, flower or bird. Donna took great pride in the fact that she and Dad were able to put back a little something for the grandkids. She shared with great-detail, how they saved every penny, how they called around for better investment rates, etc. Still doing all the things that Donna did so well with Taylor, providing a teaching moment in a story.

I take great comfort in the fact that Dad is now with Donna, off on their next great adventure. Wherever they are, I am sure they will have the biggest garden and Donna will be finally ON Jeopardy giving Ken Jennings a run for his records. We all know how she LOVED Jeopardy and rarely missed a answer! And she will be surrounded by beautiful butterflies.

Carol Tuttle

Posted at 03:21pm
I first met Donna about 22 years ago. Donna and Leo, her husband of 27 years, came to Kansas City to visit with her daughter Denise. Denise brought Donna and Leo to our house. Donna was very nice and personable, and it was fun to talk about her first marriage to my husband David Tuttle. Dave and Donna married about 2 years after high school in 1967. I was happy that Dave and Donna had the chance to reminisce about their time at McCauley High School in Joplin and their 12 years together. Through the years we had the pleasure of running into Donna at McCauley reunions.

Donna and I had a nice talk the night she moved to Kansas City in late August 2020.. She was nervous about moving to an assisted living facility but knew it was for the best. She was happy to be near her daughter and two grandchildren. Donna expressed her love for her siblings and her 27 years with Leo.

It was a pleasure to be able to assist Denise with Donna these last few weeks.

Carol Tuttle
Kansas City, MO

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