Mary Donze

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Mary Donze

ST. LOUIS -- Mary Kathryn "Kay" Wilkerson Donze passed away Thursday, Feb. 5, 2009, succumbing to cancer at the age of 62.

Kay was born in Farmington, Mo., on April 26, 1946, the sixth child of the late John Adam and the late Mary Chapman Wilkerson. She and Jerry C. Donze were married Aug. 3, 1963.

Kay was proud to be a member of the Farmington High School class of 1964. She was very proud of the fact that until her last job, she had never applied for a job her entire life. It was always people coming to her, asking if she wanted to work for them.

She loved her career in health care, which started when she went to work in 1971 as a secretary for Sister Ann at the old Saint Francis Hospital in Cape Girardeau. When Kay left Saint Francis Medical Center 13 years later she was the director of purchasing. She then went to work at Health Services Corp. of America in Cape Girardeau, mostly in sales, and in 13 years there she won three salesperson of the year awards. She then worked 10 years at Sisters of Mercy Health Systems in St. Louis in contracts, and her last job was at Rehab Care Inc. in Clayton, Mo., as director of corporate contracts. She really enjoyed working out complicated contracts, especially when the result was fair and beneficial to the hospitals and/or companies she represented. She was very well known and well respected in the health-care industry.

Besides her family and her job, Kay loved to play golf, which was taught to her early in her marriage by her mother-in-law, Yvonne. She loved to support Jerry in all of his Elks activities. Kay loved to play board games, travel and play different golf courses, but mostly just be with her family and friends. She was a very strong people person, and that showed by the number of friends she had all over the country. She will be missed tremendously.

Survivors include her husband; a daughter, Kathy Donze of St. Louis; a son, Jerry Donze III and his wife Danelle (Gray) of St. Louis; two grandchildren, David Parker and Cara Nicole Donze, both of St. Louis; her mother-in-law, Yvonne Donze Basler; her stepfather-in-law, Clarence T. Basler of Ste. Genevieve, Mo.; her sister-in-law, Jan (Stan) Troutman, also of Ste. Genevieve; her brother-in-law, Bruce (Pam) Donze of Dallas; a brother, Tom (JoAnn) Wilkerson of Lenexa, Kan.; a sister-in-law, Lilli Wilkerson of Bella Vista, Ariz.; and many cousins, nieces and nephews, who all loved her dearly.

She was preceded in death by two sisters, Melba Greiner and Thelma McLeod, and two brothers, Roy Wilkerson and John Wilkerson.

At her request, Kay's body will be cremated. A memorial visitation will be from 3 to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 13. at Schrader Funeral Home, 14960 Manchester Road, Ballwin, Mo., 636-227-5511.

There will be a memorial service from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 14, at Manchester United Methodist Church.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to American Cancer Society or The Alzheimer's Association in her name. Friends may sign the family's online guest book at