Salon 15

Deana M. Donahoo

November 7, 1965 ~ December 22, 2021 (age 56)


Deana Marie Donahoo November 7, 1965 - December 22, 2021 Deana Marie Donahoo, 56, was a small but fierce woman who took her last breath on December 22, 2021 at her home in Salida after a long decline with dementia. Standing only 4-foot 10-inches tall, her heart was bigger than her height, greatly touching every person she had the opportunity to meet. Deana was born to Darrell Donahoo and Rose Dafoe (Williams) on November 7, 1965 in Salida, CO. When she was born, it was immediately apparent to doctors that she was different. At one year, Deana was diagnosed with Down Syndrome, a genetic condition which means she had an extra chromosome. Being the 1960s and having a condition that was still misunderstood by doctors, it was recommended that Deana be placed in a psychiatric institution, suggesting that she would never amount to anything. Deana proved them wrong in every possible way, the extra chromosome giving her extra joy, love, and sparkle. She was often described as ornery and stubborn by friends and family members alike, always playing harmless pranks and jokes on unsuspecting people she adored. Deana graduated from South High School in Pueblo in 1987. After high school, Deana took courses in sign language, where she became fluent. Deana attended Special Olympics Colorado throughout high school and many years afterwards, excelling in bowling, swimming, basketball, and friendship building among fellow participants. Deana especially enjoyed being part of Pueblo Community Resources (PCR) while living in Pueblo. After moving back to Salida in 2002, she was part of Starpoint, where Deana especially appreciated the support she gained from Sheri Cannon. Words have been written by Emily Perl Kingsley, author of Welcome to Holland, about her son Jason who also had Down Syndrome. She writes about the experience of raising a child with a disability to encourage others to understand what it is like. “When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy … if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to go to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things… about Holland.” Deana was our trip to Holland, beautiful and amazing but not what anyone had expected. Left with beautiful memories are her mother, Rose Williams Dafoe of Salida; her father, Darrell (Norma) Donahoo of Scottsdale, AZ; her brother William Troy (Joni) Donahoo of Gainesville, FL; her niece Carissa Donahoo of Los Angeles, CA; and many more Donahoo and Williams family members. In lieu of flowers, please donate or volunteer your time to Special Olympics Colorado, an organization that was very near and dear to Deana’s heart. A celebration of life will be held at a later date. Arrangements were with Lewis and Glenn Funeral Home in Salida.

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Family to do services at later date

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