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Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012 02:56 am

DONNA R. DARLING

Dec. 16, 1948 – Aug. 22, 2012

Most of the people who knew Donna probably only knew one or two aspects of her multifaceted personality, or only met her in one of her several vocations.

As a massage therapist (she was voted Springfield’s best by Illinois Times readers back
around 2002), she brought comfort and pain relief to hundreds of clients, some of whom were so affected by her healing touch that they would not allow any other therapist to lay hands on them.

As the activity director in several settings, including St. John’s Transitional Care Unit, she brightened the lives of hundreds (perhaps thousands) of patients and nursing home residents over a period of many years, and helped them to overcome medical challenges and physical disabilities by focusing their attention on the daily activities they loved best, whether it was music or sports or reading or horticulture or just telling stories.

As a worship leader and youth pastor, she personally touched the lives of many young people and adults in a profoundly positive way.

As a theatrical director and choreographer, she gave generously of her time and talent to help others shine and show their best onstage.

As a mother and grandmother, she was the loving and supportive presence that every child wishes for. Her unconditional love nourished and grew her children: she always said they were her real works of art.

Those of us who were lucky enough to know of her many gifts will remain forever astounded at the breadth and depth of her passion for living, her hope and joy in Christ, and her humanity.
Our world is dimmed by the loss of her, but Heaven is brightened by her being there, no doubt.
–Dennis Darling
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