- NNHS Newsletter -
LaDonna Gandy Owen
Hampton High School Class of 1966
Dear Friends and Schoolmates,
There is still more sad news today. LaDonna Gandy Owen, Hampton HS Class of 1966, wife of Ronnie Owen ('63) of VA, sister of Arthur Gordon Gandy (HHS) and of the late Prentiss Walden Gandy (HHS - @ '64) (05 May 1946 - 22 Feb 1969), and sister-in-law of Ray Owen ('64), passed away at home in Yorktown on Friday, August 07, 2015 at the age of 67.
From F.A. Saunders (Hampton HS - '64) of VA - 08/09/15, 1:45 PM - "1966 HHS Grad Obit in today's Daily Press":
|LaDonna Gandy Owen -
Thank you, F.A. She sounds like an exciting and fascinating woman to have known. You have my sympathies on the passing of your schoolmate.
From the Daily Press - 08/09/15:
LaDonna Gandy Owen
YORKTOWN - LaDonna Gandy Owen,
age 67, of Yorktown, Virginia peacefully passed away at home surrounded by
her family on Friday, August 7, 2015 due to complications from cancer.
LaDonna was the daughter of the late Wilbert James Gandy and Marjorie Walden Gandy. Born November 7, 1947 in Booneville, Miss., she was sister to the late Prentiss Walden Gandy and Arthur Gordon Gandy. She spent her youth and teen years in Hampton, Va. with many trips to Booneville, Miss. to visit her beloved grandparents and family.
After graduating from Hampton High School in 1966, LaDonna worked at the Newport News Shipyard for several years until she met and married the love of her life, Ronald "Ronnie" Harry Owen. The newlyweds set up house in Newport News, and soon welcomed two daughters.
LaDonna's greatest joys came from being a wife, mother, and ultimately a grandmother. Her love of children, nurturing manner, and generosity of spirit drove her to lend her talents and time to many worthwhile philanthropic endeavors.
her life to volunteering. She spent many years in the Junior Women's Club of
Hilton Village. She served as president (1982-1983), and enjoyed being a part of
the yearly dinner theater productions as well as the club's many community
service projects. She was especially proud of receiving the Outstanding Junior
Award for 1979-1980. She also spent many hours volunteering at Dutrow Elementary
and York Elementary schools where her girls attended school from 1980-1988.
Later, LaDonna was active in the in the York High Athletic Booster Club (1989-1994) where she also served as president and organized sports banquet. It was during those years that LaDonna became a part of her first bridge group. She enjoyed catching up with "the girls" so much so that it became hard for the children of the bridge group to get away with anything. Throughout the rest of her life, she enjoyed the close friendships she made in the various bridge groups to which she belonged.
From 2003-2008, LaDonna became a grandmother to five grandchildren! Those five grandchildren stole her heart, and she absolutely LIVED for every moment she spent with each of them. She was constantly traveling between Yorktown Va., Manteo N.C., and Richmond, Va. in order to keep up with her daughters and their families. She made every effort to be present for every grandchild for every school play, sporting event, graduation, and birthday party. She hosted "Ganny Camp" each summer where her grandchildren enjoyed days of thoughtfully planned activities that were creative, educational, and most importantly FUN. She even worked part time at Gymboree and Janie and Jack so that she could justify her habit of buying clothes for her grandchildren.
In 1969, she lost her older brother to diabetes. When her oldest grandchild was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, she once again stepped into the role of volunteer and began working with JDRF to raise funds for their walk-a-thons on the peninsula.
When one of her granddaughters was given an assignment to dress as a famous American who made a contribution to our country, LaDonna quickly suggested that she dress as Martha Stewart.
She welcomed each new family member whether by birth or marriage to the family with great enthusiasm. LaDonna adored her sons-in-law. She was proud of them and came to rely on them to help her with each over the top family event she planned. She enjoyed an especially close relationship with her mother, brother and sister-in-law Karen Gandy.
LaDonna did everything with gusto. She never left a party early. She always had dessert, a smile on her face and the biggest laugh in the room. She adored event planning, raising the bar for family holiday gatherings, and trying new recipes. Every Christmas, she would go overboard with the theme she chose. She would create elaborate tablescapes, a spread of homemade desserts, and spend months selecting thoughtful gifts for the family. She dabbled in wedding planning and was always eager to help her friends and family members plan a party.
LaDonna cultivated close relationships with her friends and was so grateful for their support during her battle with cancer. Fiercely independent until she was diagnosed, LaDonna was grateful that she could lean on her husband of nearly 47 years. She wanted everyone to know what a great man her Ronnie was, and how much he meant to her. She was thankful for all, and appreciated everything that everyone did to help her. Throughout her illness, she received stacks of cards, words of encouragement, and tokens of love that encouraged her to continue fighting. Those meant the world to her.
LaDonna is survived by her husband Ronald Owen; mother-in-law, Gladys "Peggy" Owen; children, Heather Owen Thompson and husband Steven Earl Thompson of Richmond, Va. and Holly Owen Clark of Manteo, N.C. and husband Michael Elliot Clark; five grandchildren Owen Taylor Clark, Hank Talbot Thompson, Betty Grace Thompson, Grey Ryan Clark and Virginia Hensley Thompson; brother Arthur Gordon Gandy, sister-in-law Karen Gandy, brother-in-law Ray Wayne and his wife, Cathy Owen; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles, and friends who all meant so much to her.
The family sincerely thanks the staff at Sentara Careplex Hospital and Bon Secours Hospice for the care LaDonna received. Their compassion, consideration, and helpfulness to the family were invaluable.
The family will receive family and friends Monday, August 10, 2015 from 6:00-7:30 pm at Peninsula Funeral Home, 11144 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, A memorial service will be held at 1:00 pm on Tuesday, August 11, 2015 at First Baptist Church, 12716 Warwick Blvd., Newport News. There will be a graveside service followed by a social at the Junior Women's Club of Hilton Village clubhouse, 87 Main St., Newport News.
In lieu of
flowers, donations can be made to JDRF, 5712 Cleveland St., Ste. 100, Virginia,
Va. 23462 or Philadelphia, 3551 N. Broad Street Rd., Philadelphia, Pa., 19140
attn: Geraldine Barrett. View and post condolences on our online guestbook at
Our sincerest condolences are extended to LaDonna's family and friends at this difficult time.
Y'all take good care of each other! TYPHOONS FOREVER! We'll Always Have Buckroe!
Love to all, Carol
NNHS CLASS OF '65 WEB SITE:
PERSONAL WEB SITE: http://www.angelfire.com/weird2/cluckmeat
7020 Lure Court
Fayetteville, NC 28311-9309
Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee
Words by Henry van Dyke (10 Nov 1852 - 10 Apr 1933), 1907
Music: Ode to Joy, from the Symphony No. 9 of Ludwig van Beethoven (17 Dec 1720 - 26 Mar1897)
Adapted by Edward Hodges (20 July 1796 - 01 Sept 1867), 1824
Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee, opening to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the light of day!
All Thy works with joy surround Thee, earth and heaven reflect Thy rays,
Stars and angels sing around Thee, center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain, flowery meadow, flashing sea,
Singing bird and flowing fountain call us to rejoice in Thee.
Thou art giving and forgiving, ever blessing, ever blessed,
Wellspring of the joy of living, ocean depth of happy rest!
Thou our Father, Christ our Brother, all who live in love are Thine;
Teach us how to love each other, lift us to the joy divine.
Mortals, join the happy chorus, which the morning stars began;
Father love is reigning o’er us, brother love binds man to man.
Ever singing, march we onward, victors in the midst of strife,
Joyful music leads us Sunward in the triumph song of life.
"Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee" midi and lyrics courtesy of http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/j/o/joyful.htm - 09/21/12
Greg Olsen Paintings courtesy ofhttp://gregolsengallery.com – 03/15/05
Red Roses Divider Line clip art courtesy of - well, I cannot seem to locate that information at the moment, but it's been in my files since 02/01/05.
Hampton High School's Crab clip art courtesy of
Replaced courtesy of http://www.hamptonhigh1964.com - 02/17/09
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