Donna Lee Deady, a native Californian who taught elementary school in Silicon Valley for 35 years, passed away May 15 at her retirement home in Florida.
Born in 1935 in Red Bluff, California to Mary and Glenn Tolley, she attended schools in Richmond, California -- graduating from Richmond High School in 1953. She began college but paused her studies to marry her high school sweetheart, Harold “Hal” Deady, in June 1955. They lived for a time in Waco, Texas where he was stationed with the U.S. Air Force. When they returned to California, she completed her studies at Sacramento State College, earning a teaching certificate in elementary education, and later completed extension courses to earn a lifetime credential.
They moved to the Bay Area, where Hal worked in the burgeoning electronics industry and Donna taught fourth and fifth grade at Pomeroy Elementary, and for a time, Laurelwood Elementary in the Santa Clara Unified School District. The couple raised their family there and were active in community and civic organizations. Their activities included the Boy Scouts and Job’s Daughters, supporting their children’s involvement. They also enjoyed playing bridge with friends and extended family.
Since Donna taught U.S. history, summer vacations often involved traveling around the country, gathering materials for her classes. Her children recalled traveling in the family motorhome to historical and cultural sites, making friends along the way. Disneyland was another favorite and frequent destination, and the couple enjoyed many trips to Hawaii as well.
Donna retired from teaching in 2000 and the couple retired to Palm Coast, Florida, where they found a new bridge group and also were members of the Palm Coast Yacht Club. In retirement, they enjoyed boating and additional travel, visiting Europe, China twice and taking several cruises. Both daughters moved to Florida to be nearer their parents, and the family was a frequent visitor to local amusement parks.
Her husband of 58 years predeceased her in 2013, and she is also predeceased by her parents, who passed in 2002.
Donna is survived by her daughters Deidra Anne Deady of Clermont, Florida and Lynnette Audreen Deady of Orlando; her son Mark O’Deady and his wife Peggy Watt, of Bellingham, Washington; granddaughter Moira O’Deady Darone, her spouse Gabrielle and two great-grandchildren, Spencer Glenn Darone and Avery Jude Darone, of San Leandro, California; a brother, Larry Tolley and his wife Beth of Tehachapi, California; and a sister-in-law, Yvonne Deady Reed and her husband, Wayne of Chula Vista, California.
She will be laid to rest next to her husband in Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida on Memorial Day weekend, followed by a celebration of life with extended family and friends. In lieu of flowers the family suggests a donation to the National Park Foundation in her memory.
In Memory of Donna Lee Deady
Please consider a Donation to the National Park Foundation https://www.nationalparks.org/support-npf/other-ways-give