Donna Jean Morrison Conway died peacefully in her sleep on December 17 at Sampson Regional Medical Center in Clinton, N.C. She was 80.
She was born on September 21, 1940, in Beech Fork, W.Va., the only child of Ada Morrison and Charles Estep. Throughout her childhood and teen years, Donna’s family moved frequently because her stepfather, Harlan Shepard, was a traveling carpenter. She had fond memories in particular of their time living in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., and El Paso, Texas. The family eventually settled in South Point, Ohio, and Donna graduated from South Point High School in 1959.
After graduation, Donna moved to East Liverpool, Ohio, and took an office job at what is now known as Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort across the Ohio River in Newell, W.Va. There, she met a horse trainer from suburban Philadelphia named Joseph Conway, whom she married in 1965.
The couple eventually settled back in Huntington, where Joseph took a job as a chemical engineer and plant manager at Columbia Paint Corporation’s Raybo Chemical Company subsidiary.
In 1980, while simultaneously raising three children, Donna began a successful career as a librarian with the Cabell County Public Library system at the West Huntington branch. Among her many accomplishments there, Donna was a key player in supervising the branch’s move from a dilapidated Old Central City storefront on West 14th Street to a brand-new, custom-built and modern facility a few blocks south. She also took library science courses at Marshall University and eventually worked as a reference librarian at the library’s main branch in downtown Huntington.
Donna retired in 2005 and moved first to Bridgeport, W.Va., before settling in Clinton. She loved spending her retirement years with her grandchildren as well as her beloved cat, Sebastian. She enjoyed watching Jeopardy! and keeping in touch with her many friends via text message and Words With Friends. She also was a member of the Clinton Newcomers’ Group and Book Club.
She was preceded in death by her father and mother. Her husband, Joseph, died in 1984. In 1990, she married Jack Cushman, who died in 1998.
Donna is survived by her son Joseph II (of Arlington, Va.); her daughters Ada (of Clinton) and Maura (of Tega Cay, S.C.); Maura’s husband, Joshua Perdue; and grandson Michael and granddaughters Jillian and Sophia. The family would like to especially thank Donna’s home-health caregivers, Deanna Ashford and Crystal Stone.
In consideration of COVID-19-related travel and public-gathering restrictions, as well as the Christmas holidays, there will be no visitation or funeral. Instead, a celebration of life is planned for a later date. Royal Hall Funeral Home is in charge of local arrangements. The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Donna’s honor and memory to your local animal shelter.
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