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Donna Dorene Joy

d. June 15, 2019

Durham – Donna Dorene Joy, 82 died June 15, 2019 Hillsboro Community Hospital in Hillsboro.  She was born October 15, 1936 to Kenneth and Pearl (Steward) Benningfield in Alva, Oklahoma.  She married Melvin Joy October 21, 1955 Alva, Oklahoma.  Survivors include: husband, Melvin Joy of Durham; son, Danny Joy of Corvallis, Oregon; daughter, Lori (Martin) Harding of Wichita; brother, Kenneth Max Benningfield of Alva, Oklahoma; 5 grandchildren and 2 great – grandchildren.  Predeceased by her sister, Wanda Eckert and grandson, Jacob Joy.  Celebration of Life Service 11:00 a.m Saturday, June 22, 2019 at Durham Baptist Church in Durham.  Memorials to Kings Daughters in care of Jost Funeral Home P.O. Box 266 Hillsboro, KS 67063.  Online condolences at www.jostfuneralhome.com

Life Sketch Taken From the Funeral Bulletin

Donna Dorene Benningfield was born October 15, 1936 in Alva, Oklahoma to Kenneth and Pearl (Steward) Benningfield and passed away Saturday, June 15, 2019 at Hillsboro Community Hospital, Hillsboro, Kansas.

 Dorene grew up on a farm west of Alva with two older siblings, Wanda and Max.  The family farm had cows, pigs, sheep at times and usually a horse.  She spent a lot of time on the family farm helping with chores and drove the grain truck during harvest time.  She attended Farry, a small country school beginning with first grade until her high school graduation.

On April 9, 1947 the family lost their home to the Woodward tornado which is still the deadliest tornado ever to strike within the borders of Oklahoma.  It spawned at least 6 tornadoes that traveled 220 miles from Texas to Kansas.  The family rebuilt their new home on the same site. 

Upon graduating from Farry High School in 1954,  Dorene enrolled in Northwestern State College in Alva, now Northwestern Oklahoma State University.  As a freshman she lived in a room in an old Victorian house that still stands and walked to a nearby café where she worked when she wasn’t attending classes. During the summer she continued to help on the family farm and with the wheat harvest. She eventually took another job working at Shumaker’s Drug Store where she met Melvin Joy who also attended the same college. They soon began dating and were married on October 21, 1955.  Their first child, Danny, was born in 1956 and soon after they moved to Durham, Kansas where Melvin began his teaching career as a junior high school teacher and principal. During summers she continued helping her family with the wheat harvest preparing meals for the crew and driving truck as needed as Melvin traveled from Oklahoma to South Dakota as a custom harvester. 

Their second child, Lori was born in 1965.  Dorene raised the two children and also worked as a bookkeeper at Donahue Manufacturing outside of Durham.   While living in Durham she joined Home Circle Club and was active with First Baptist Church and Kings Daughters holding offices within each club.

 Eventually both children were married and Dorene and Melvin became grandparents.  Dorene was a wonderful grandmother loved by all her grandchildren and two great grandchildren.  She was a wonderful grandmother and loved spending time with her grandchildren.  Her grandchildren have fond memories with their grandparents camping, fishing, and spending time at their Durham home.

After Melvin retired from teaching school Melvin and Dorene started traveling across the country where they collected rocks along the way that are still arranged around their yard with the name of the state it came from marked on one side.  They drove their travel trailer all the way to Alaska and back visiting their son Danny in Oregon along the way.  They also enjoyed ocean cruises with friends and traveled to Hawaii for a 50thanniversary trip.

Dorene will be remembered as a kind, quiet, generous and loving person who was a support to those around here.   She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and friend to all those close to her.  She will be missed by her family and friends but never forgotten.

Dorene is survived by her husband Melvin of Durham; one son Danny Joy of Corvallis, Oregon; one daughter, Lori Harding and husband Martin of Wichita, Kansas; five grandchildren, Matthew Joy, Kendall Joy, Bethany Prevedelli and husband Charles, Andrew Harding; and two great grandchildren Charles and Ava Prevedelli.

She was preceded in death by her parents, sister Wanda Eckert and grandson, Jacob Joy.



 Memorials may be sent to First Baptist Church Kings Daughters, in care of Jost Funeral Home, P.0. Box 266 Hillsboro, Ks. 67063

Online condolences: www.jostfuneralhome.com




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3 thoughts on “Donna Dorene Joy

  1. The family of Dorene (Benningfield) Joy we are very sorry to hear of Dorene’s passing. May GOD be with you all during this time of sorrow. As a neighbor and schoolmate we were very close. I worked summer harvest for her mother & dad. Dorene will be missed by all who knew her. Sorry for your loss, a good friend and neighbor. Jim & Marilyn

  2. Lori, I am so sorry to hear about your mothers passing! Losing a mom always makes me so sad! I’m sure you have many wonderful memories of her to cherish forever! Hugs! Joann Randall

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