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Donna Kephart-Esch

April 22, 1932 - November 23, 2018

Donna June was born in Albany, Oregon on April 22, 1932 to Oz & Lila Pendergraft.  She passed away peacefully on Nov 23, 2018 with her children by her side.

She graduated from Salem High School in 1950. In 1953 she married the love of her life, Bert Kephart. Together they raised 4 children and enjoyed many years of boating and water skiing at the Willamette River, then continued on with many weekend camping trips at Detroit Lake. They also enjoyed many backyard pool parties with all the grandkids and many friends.
Donna worked as a bookkeeper at Cobb Mfg. Co. a family business making newspaper route boxes her grandfather invented in 1926.  During the 1970’s Donna had a passion for Art and became an Art teacher.  She taught various techniques in oils, pastels, acrylics, pen&ink, teaching privately in her home and at Chemeketa Community College older adult program.
After 42 years of marriage Bert passed away in 1995. Donna then married Verne Esch. They enjoyed 14 years together traveling, singing in the 1st Christian Church choir where they were members and the Just For Fun Singers. Donna also loved playing the piano and giving many Hugs to all.

Donna’s greatest passion was her children and the entire family.  She loved People and cherished all the friendships she had. Her unconditional love and hugs will be greatly missed.
Donna is survived by her children, Terry (Karen), Bert (Julie), Kim & Bo, 8 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren, brother Ed Pendergraft and all her nieces and nephews and friends that called her their 2nd Mom.

A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday, December 8th at 1pm at First Christian Church, 685 Marion St. NE Salem. In Lieu of flowers donations may be made to the First Christian Church music programs.  

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Guest Book Entries

Dear Terry, Bert, Kim, and Bo and families--

I was sorry to hear about the death of your dear Mom and wonderful neighbor to our family for years.  I would love to attend her service on Saturday, but we will be in Seattle for our grandson's birthday.  Your Mom was always to friendly and kind, and of course, lots of fun!  She was always a comforting presence across the street from my parents, especially in their final years.  We will be thinking of you on Saturday and are praying for you as you say goodbye to your dear Mom.  Love, Pam Amborn