Donna Gayle Ware

December 28, 1934 ~ November 5, 2021 (age 86)


This journey started in Manchester, Iowa on December 28, 1934. Donna Gayle was born the daughter of Burdette and Leona (Phillip) Durey, the oldest of seven children.

Donna went to a small town, Happy Camp, California to visit her dad. There, she met Burl (loved him when she saw him) and about three weeks later married Burl Lewis on June 9, 1954. They made their home in Oklahoma where they started their family. Heartache and joy for 18 years, and then in 1972 Burl went to heaven. Donna, with three children and a broken heart, started to rebuild their lives. She was determined to plant solid roots in Bixby, the town she and Burl had made their home. She learned to drive, got her license, and found land to build a modest home. She planned only to raise her kids and encourage them through life. Then, along came Leo Ware. After many dinners, outings, and meeting family, the two were engaged and married on May 9, 1974.

Donna had so much love to give, and she and Leo had so much fun together. They enjoyed card games, dominoes, fishing trips, or just sitting at the table drinking coffee and enjoying each other. The family expanded and so did her heart. As the family grew and changed, Donna and Leo were the model of love and strength that the family looked to for example. Every grandkid knew they could go to grandma for anything. It could be something as small as a bowl of cereal or as big as talking you through and over the mountain of trouble.

If there was a baby she held it, loved it, fed it, changed it, and nurtured it with the most loving spirit.

With her first great grandchild came a new name, “mornin”. That stemmed from a toddler trying to say good morning, but she said she wanted to “go to Mornin and drink coffee.” The name stuck and “Mornin” was your go-to for hugs and smiles. She was always looking to the kids and at the kids as her joy.

She could be silly, stubborn and stand her ground, but she never lost her smile. She lived a life well-loved while loving well.

She is survived by her children, Monica Prince, Dale Lewis, Sr. and wife Gail, and Hope Martin; nine grandchildren; twenty-three great grandchildren; five great-great grandchildren and one on the way; siblings, Phyllis Herbstreith, Richard Durey, and Lorraine Heskett; along with a host of other relatives and friends.

Donna passed away November 5, 2021 at her home surrounded by her family.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husbands, Burl Lewis and Leo Ware; and siblings, Donald George “Sonny” Durey, Robert Durey and Marilyn Langevan.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Donna, please visit our floral store.


November 8, 2021

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Bixby-South Tulsa Funeral Service
13307 S. Memorial
Bixby, OK 74008

November 9, 2021

2:00 PM
RiverCrest Chapel and Event Center
13329 S. Memorial Dr.
Bixby, OK 74008

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