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Donna Lee (Hecht) Gaus, age 79, of Mission Woods, Kansas, passed away in the comfort of her home with her husband, Ed, daughter, Christa, and two beloved dogs, Bella and Charlie, beside her on March 5, 2019. Private services will be held by the family at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given in honor of Donna to the Alzheimers AssociationHeart of America Chapter, 3846 W. 75th St., Prairie Village, KS 66208, or to Kansas City Hospice & Palliative Care, 1500 Meadow Lake Pkwy, Ste. 200, Kansas City, MO 64114.
Donna was born on July 30, 1939 in St. Louis, Missouri, to her parents, Louis and Mildred (Eck) Hecht. She was one of two children, having one sister, Barbara. Donna graduated from Cleveland High School in St. Louis. She was an independent, driven woman in the 1950s and 60s, and worked extremely hard to be successful. Donna was one of the few women to be recruited and hired on with IBM in their computer programming sector. She was extremely proud of her work with IBM. Donna was so good at her job, she was then recruited by the KMBZ radio station to develop their computer software. After spending many years in the technology industry, Donna found joy and fulfillment in her work with the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art for 30 years. She worked in their Education Department, where she was in charge of inventory, firing the kiln for ceramic projects, and hanging of the childrens exhibits. To say Donna was an extremely selfless, driven, independent, self-made and hard-working individual wouldnt be able to capture her correctly; She was above and beyond all of those traits, plus some.
Donna was a devoted wife to her dear husband, Edward "Ed" Gaus, and a loving mother to their only daughter, Christa. She would make sure that Ed was always taken care of, along with their home, which she was proud to maintain herself down to the last detail. Donna was also an incredible cook, of not just homemade meals, but gourmet meals. She enjoyed baking and was famously known for her chocolate chip cookies and St. Louis gooey butter cake. Donna and her family spent many great times together going on vacations and special trips all over the country, memories that her family will cherish forever.
If Donna wasnt working, you could often find her at the tennis courts, playing bridge, or doing yoga, or taking long walk with her family, all things she enjoyed. Although, nothing compared to spending time with her beloved grandchildren, family, and dogs. She is survived by her husband of (almost) 60 years, Ed Gaus; daughter Christa Welch; grandchildren Carson and Elise Welch; beloved dogs, Bella and Charlie; sister Barbara Will; as well as many dear friends of the St. Louis and Kansas City area.
Donna will be fondly remembered by her family for her loving, selfless nature, her hard-working attitude, and ability to do just about anything she set her mind to. She was a saint.
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