Dona Kaye Kenly (Smith) was born November 1, 1967 and passed away on February 5, 2020. Dona was the loving daughter of Dennis R. and Elizabeth T. Smith and surviving daughter of Katie Anna Prohaska of Enid, Oklahoma. Dona was the joyous and adored wife of Christopher Kenly of El Paso, Texas.
She lived in Enid during her formative years, becoming a veracious reader, church camp attendee and enthusiastic supporter of Oklahoma State University. From a young age Dona was fearless and able to navigate life’s ups and downs with a quiet resourcefulness and determination that would stick with her for her entire life.
Dona graduated from Oklahoma State University and enjoyed a successful career in the education textbook industry. She excelled in the world of publishing, working with some of the best co-workers, authors and professors across the country and the industry. Early in her career she moved to Dallas where she met her future partner in marriage and adventure, Christopher Kenly, at Richard Ellis’s Tuesday night Bible Study. After a whirlwind romance the two married and “all of me loves all of you” became the refrain of their marriage. The pride and love on Dona’s fathers face as he escorted her down the aisle left few dry eyes and their father daughter dance was one of her favorite memories.
Dona embraced and loved her life as an Army wife. As she and Chris settled into Ft. Dix, she endeavored to create a community on base and joined/lead numerous groups to encourage inclusion for all military spouses leading the 63rd Ordnance Battalion (EOD) and the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, Family Readiness Groups. Volunteering at the Fort Dix Thrift shop with her friends gave her joy during Chris’ deployments. Dona formed many long-lasting relationships with friends on all of these adventures and from her experiences gleaned an empathy and kindness which allowed her to easily move into new social circles with ease.
She loved her work in publishing and formed many cherished relationships with professors across the globe during her many years at Macmillan, Addison Wesley, Pearson, International Baccalaureate, and most recently Contemporary Solutions. Over the years, Dona had the opportunity to travel the world from India to Kuwait to Singapore and her favorite, The Hague.
Dona is survived by her husband Christopher, mother Elizabeth T. Smith, brothers Raymond Smith of Enid, OK, and Kenneth Smith of Colorado Springs, CO, father- and mother-in-law Rick and Martha Kenly, sister-in-law, Jennifer Kenly, as well as many friends and family around the country and the world.
Dona’s friends and family are excited to invite you to join them for a Celebration of Dona’s Life on February 13th from 2-4 pm at Ramparts tavern. Dona disliked funerals and sadness at the end of someone’s life, believing that “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” 2 Cor. 5:8.
A true celebration, then, will take place on the 13th of February at Ramparts Grill, 1701 Fern Street, Alexandria, VA from 2-4pm. The event will be a time to share the stories and joys that Dona brought us, the music and messages that Dona would want us to remember. Photos of Dona and her friends can be share by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please join us in celebrating her life and raising a glass at an event the Dona would truly have wanted to attend herself. Wear your best garden party outfit and dancing shoes. Also, knowing how much Dona loved reading, please bring any unwanted books for a book exchange or donation to the Alexandria library in Dona’s name.
In lieu of flowers please consider donating to King Street Cats at https://www.kingstreetcats.org/
King Street Cats
25 S. Dove Street, Alexandria VA 22314