Donna Louise (Smith) Guckian, a longtime resident of Beeville and Lampasas, died July 17, 2018 at her home in Lampasas.
Her body will be interred next to that of her husband in a graveside service at Lockhart Municipal Burial Park on July 21 at 10 a.m. Arrangements are being handled by Sneed Funeral Chapel of Lampasas and McCurdy’s Funeral Home of Lockhart.
Born in 1935 in Henderson, Texas, Donna received a bachelor’s degree in education in 1958 from what was then Southwest Texas Teacher’s College in San Marcos.
She married William James “Jay” Guckian in 1957.
In the early 1960s, Donna began her teaching career at the Banquete ISD, near Corpus Christi. She then spent 1965-1969 teaching home economics at Prairie Valley High School near Nocona. In the summer of 1969, the family moved to Beeville, where Donna spent the next 23 years at A.C. Jones High School, also in the home economics department.
Much of the latter part of her career at Beeville was spent in helping children, young adults and specialneeds individuals build life skills in vocational and special education. Donna retired from teaching in June 1992.
She was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma sorority and touched many lives as a teacher, seamstress and cook. Because of her contributions to the communities to which she belonged, Donna was recognized in the mid-1990s by Gov. Ann Richards as a “Yellow Rose of Texas.”
In 2002, after the death of her husband, Donna moved to Lampasas to be near her sister.
Donna spent much of her retirement volunteering at local hospitals -- Beeville Memorial Hospital and Rollins Brook Community Hospital in Lampasas. She had a passion for family, friends, cooking and sewing that was evident in the many handmade gifts and home-cooked meals she made over the years. She also was an active member of the Red Hat Society until her health made it too difficult to participate.
Donna was preceded in death by her parents, Burford Tucker and Vivi Marie Smith; her husband of 43 years, who died in July 1999; and two siblings, David Bruce (Gloria) Smith and Cherrie (John) Roberts.
She is survived by her children, Carol (Gene) Shumate of Midland, Gerald of Lampasas, Howard (Lana) of Elgin, and Burford “Jimmy” (Caroline) of Round Rock; 10 grandchildren, Mike Shumate of Denton, Brad Shumate of Salem, Oregon, Kimberlee Guckian of Mildenhall, England, Bryan Guckian of Knoxville, Tennessee, Elijahs Blue Guckian of Lampasas, Kevin Guckian of Elgin, Kyle Guckian of Austin, Beatrice Guckian of Lampasas, Keath Guckian of Round Rock and Konrad Guckian of Austin; and two great-grandchildren, with two more on the way.
Memorials may be made to the charity of one’s choice, in consideration of Donna’s love of children and teaching.