The gracious lady spoke of facing death from pancreatic cancer as another great adventure in a fascinating life. With her firm Christian faith, this attitude came easily. She was born Donna Grace Gates in Detroit Michigan to parents Ralph Christopher Gates, a Ford Motor Co. analyst and his wife Evelyn Cecelia Brietka Gates. As a girl Donna experienced strong religious feelings. She attended Capital University in Columbus Ohio planning a career in the Lutheran Church. In 1962 she fell in love and married Siegfried (Sig) Mosesmann, a vibrant young man from Colombia South America. She became a military wife, and in postings across the USA the couple raised three girls, Diana, Miriam and Amy. In 1992 Sig died of heart failure in a bicycle rally in Wichita Falls, Texas. Donna was very proud that despite her husbands death all three daughters finished college. She herself acquired a BS at Midwestern State in Wichita Falls and attended graduate school in Dallas. She worked as a Speech Pathologist in north Texas and Dallas area public schools. In 1996, invited by friend Jim McLane, she moved to southwest Houston. She joined the Fort Bend County public schools, and for 10 years provided speech therapy to young and often disadvantaged children. Donna was an enthusiastic church worker and her good Spanish language skills allowed her to help immigrants. She was known for personal charity, patience, tolerance, and respect for people of all races and cultures. Politically, she took sides on issues that benefited the poor, the helpless and underprivileged. Always active and athletic, at the age of 50 she embraced the unusual hobby of cave exploring. She was a member of several caving clubs around the state and in the summers worked as a volunteer in Carlsbad Caverns. She served as a director of the Texas Cave Conservancy. She especially liked camping, reading, flowers, working puzzles, and music (she was a competent clarinet player.) She enjoyed museums and travel. Comfortable in any social setting, her inquisitive mind, and intelligence attracted friends and admirers of all ages. She could sense the needs of those with problems, evaluate situations, and offer useful advice. She loved pets and for several years cared for Darwin, a 5-foot lizard who had a private room with his own TV! Friends remember Donna as a beautiful and shapely woman who seemed much younger than her actual age. She and her loving companion, local engineer James C. McLane III shared the finer aspects of our human experience. She is survived by her three daughters and their families: Diana Allensworth with husband Ken and sons Tyler and Clayton of Wichita Kansas, Miriam Simmons with husband Raymond and children John-Cole, Elizabeth and Ethan of Montgomery Alabama, and Amy Barr with husband Kevin and children Lauren, Luke and Logan in Spring Texas. She has one sister, Cheri Hill with son Lyle of Houston, and cousins Joyce Roberts of Ypsilanti Michigan and Lee Roberts of Sandlake Michigan. She doted over her grandchildren who range in age from 1 to 20 years old. These kids are blessed to have inherited from Donna, in various degrees, the noblest traits God has bestowed on our human race.
More about Donna may be seen on line at www.mem.com. A memorial service will be held Saturday, Sept. 22 at 2 PM in the First Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1311 Holman, at Caroline. Interment of ashes will be at Forest Park in the Woodlands Cemetery. Gifts in Donnas memory should be directed to her favorite 501(C)3 organization, the Texas Cave Conservancy, PO Box 1164, Cedar Park, Texas 78613.