Late last year Flat River Outreach Ministries (FROM) lost a dear friend – Donna Jean Ford.
The Lion’s football fan was an accountant and a lifelong resident of Lowell. She grew up on a farm and her parents cared about their community. Her father, a carpenter, was always fixing things for others.
“They’ve always had a giving spirit,” Kim Kropf, Donna Jean’s cousin said about the Ford family. “They might not have had the money, but they had the gift to give.”
Donna Jean carried that giving spirit throughout her life. She was involved in organizations she was passionate about including Pink Arrow, Clark Retirement, Lowell Area Arts Council, and FROM. The avid reader spent many years volunteering at the book department at Treasure’s Thrift Shop.
Kim shared Donna Jean’s ranch house held a library filled with books, many of them coming from a book club that mailed her books monthly. They sent her so many books in fact, Kim says, “they eventually sent her a letter saying they had no more books to send her.”
In total, Donna Jean volunteered more than 1,380 hours with FROM. Diane LaWarre, Donna Jean’s next door neighbor of nearly 30 years and FROM volunteer said that Donna Jean continued volunteering even after she had injuries that forced her to use a walker, and would put books on her walker to move them around.
“She was passionate about helping other people,” Diane said. Kim agreed saying Donna Jean loved that Lowell had such a great resource with the thrift shop, and that it was focused on people helping people.
“She loved how everybody could come together when there was a need to come together,” Kim said about Donna Jean’s love for the community.
The long-time volunteer was also a long-time donor to FROM, often giving to support the food pantry.
“She just didn’t want people to go hungry,” Kim said. “That was a big deal to her.”
Donna Jean’s life touched so much many both here at FROM and throughout the Greater Lowell Community. She generously gave FROM an estate gift which will help touch the lives of so many.