Donna (Keate) Hartley, 85, died Thursday, Sept. 5.
She was born in Oakland, the daughter of Diana and Ross (Julius) Keate, joining her older brother, Stanley. The family moved to North Bloomfield, where she attended a one-room schoolhouse. Later the family moved to Nevada City, then Sacramento, and Modesto. She graduated from Modesto High School in 1945, and was the first employee of the Modesto Camera Center. She enjoyed cruising 10th street in her dad’s powder blue Plymouth. She met her future husband, Oakdale resident Jack Hartley, at a dance in La Grange. They were married Sept. 26, 1948.
Mrs. Hartley and her husband raised their family in Oakdale, and briefly on Oahu, Hawaii, before it became a state. She created jewelry out of native seeds, and combed the beaches to complete her projects. After her children were grown, she and her husband adventurously traveled around the world, and spent months in Mexico every year, eventually driving to every state of Mexico and visiting every historical location. She followed her lifelong passion for photography, always creating photo journals about her travels.
A no nonsense, yet loving mother and grandmother, she spent time with her family, teaching them how to fish, read, ride bikes, snowmobile; supplying pocket knives, bb guns, and shotguns; playing horseshoes, games, and beating them in cross country croquet. Always fun loving, she created crafts with her grandchildren. Fiercely independent and competitive, her life was defined by her lifelong friends, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
She enjoyed playing bridge, golfing, and was a champion bowler. In her senior years, she became an avid fan of the San Francisco Giants, current events in People Magazine, and Dancing with the Stars.
She was a dear wife and mother. Always vibrant, interested, and living her life to the fullest, her family will miss her.
She is survived by her husband, Jack; daughters, Jayne Hartley (Ed) Fenton of Modesto, Denise Hartley of Oakdale; sister-in-laws, Beth (William) Chapman, Lois (Jack) Hunter; grandchildren, Katrina (Glen) Hellberg, Russell E. Fenton, Jonah, Christian, Charles, Ian (Laurie Ann), Jared Gilbert, Diana Gilbert (Chris) Costales, and Nathan McCoy; six great-grandchildren, Kayleigh Gilbert of Oakdale, Jack and Charlie Costales, Niko Gilbert, Aden Gilbert, and Nate McCoy; and her dearest friends.
A viewing will be from 4 p.m. to 8p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 12 at Oakdale Memorial Chapel. A private family service will be at Lakewood Memorial Park. A Celebration of Life with family and friends will be at 11 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 13 at Oakdale Memorial Chapel. Dr. Patten, Bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Oakdale, will speak at the memorial ceremony, followed by a luncheon celebration at12 p.m. at the home of Barbara Keeler.