Dr. Donna Mae Hall Garza

February 14, 1929 - July 30, 2011
Dr. Donna Mae Hall Garza

Gifts & Memorial Donations

Dr. Donna Mae Hall Garza, 82, of Hendersonville, formerly of West Union, SC, began her rest on Sabbath July 30, 2011 and is now awaiting the soon return of Christ.

Donna was born on Valentineís Day, 1929 in Enid Oklahoma, the daughter of the late Alfred Burhman and Lillian Pierce Hall. Her father came to Oklahoma as a boy in the Run of 1889 and her mother was a granddaughter of missionaries serving the Indian tribes in Kansas and the Oklahoma Territories. Donna, the third of 4 children,’ considered herself a true “Okie”, and often spoke of her father’s work at the local Pillsbury mill, of growing up in Enid, and of living and raising her 6 kids in Enid and other communities in Oklahoma. Brother Alfred Leon and sister Mary Etta MaGuffee precede her in death.

She was an avid learner, a creative educator, writer and artist, a gifted musician, and so much more, but more than any of these, she was a mother devoted to her family and children. Her number one priority was the salvation of her family; she told everyone that it was the Lord and her that raised her kids. Donna met Humberto S. Garza Jr. in 1948, during her first year of college at John Brown and by the following year they were married. They were both baptized and became members of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in 1952, at the Oklahoma Camp-meeting, while she was carrying her third child, David. Their relationship had many difficulties and eventually resulted in divorce. Donna had 6 children which she selflessly raised and her life so well illustrates her priorities. In 1947 she received her high school diploma from John Brown University and the following year she completed her first year of college. 19 years passed before she was able to return to higher learning but when she did, she did it with a vengeance. In 1968 she received an AA in Art from Ventura College, in 1971 she received a BA in Art with a minor in Physics and Education certification from Loma Linda University, in 1982 she received a Masters in Arts and Teaching from Andrews University. She then went on to receive two more degrees from Southern Adventist University, a Masters in Family Psychology and Counseling and a BS in Graphic Arts. In 2004, at the age of 75, Donna received her PhD. in Philosophy with an emphasis in Psychology from Cambridge International University.

She taught grade school in the Adventist education system in Oklahoma, Florida, and California, was principal of Whispering Pines Academy in Tennessee, and taught high school at Tamassee-Salem High in Salem, SC. She counseled boys at the Advent Boys Home in Cleveland, TN. Her abilities and interests extended far beyond the field of education. Over the course of her life she raised goats and sold the milk, painted signs, did leatherwork, sold coin-operated vibrating mattresses, performed secretarial work, did in-house commercial training and more. She was a member of the Hendersonville Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Donna was a fountain of interest and creativity. She gifted the world with paintings, drawings, writings, inventions, educational models and concepts, pottery, sculptures, pillows, coats, blankets, and so much more. After having two strokes in her 60’s, Donna wrote and published “Surviving Two Brain Stem Strokes.” She also wrote at length on her personal memories as a child. She wrote a first grade math book and had plans for writing math text books for the other 8 primary grades. Currently she was writing a sequel to her stroke book, “Surviving Three Brain Stem Strokes.” Donna believed that her greatest gift was the energy and focus she exerted in leaving a positive legacy through her 6 children and their families. She is loved and missed by many.

Donna is survived by her children, Humberto “Samuel” Garza, III and wife, Krystal of TN, Daniel L. Garza and wife, Myra of FL, David M. Garza and wife, Tanya of CA, Susan R. Rowe and husband, Edward of NC, Stephen G. Garza and wife, LaDell of West Union SC, and John A. Hall and wife, Marlys of ID; grandchildren, Krysta, Oriona, Jared, Benjamin, Tiffany, Kyle, Sarah, Andrew, Anthony, David Jr, Timothy, Jonathan, Matthew, Michaela, Angelica, Brian, Allen, Benjamin, Paul, James, Joel, Mat, Joshua, Jacob, Faith, Oren, Clinton, and Jasmine; 22 great-grand children; her older sister, Wanda Lee Warner; her ex-husband Humberto S. Garza, Jr.; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

A Memorial Service will be held 2 PM Thursday at the Hendersonville Seventh-Day Adventist Church with Pastor Charles Ferguson officiating. Burial will be private. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the church.

Our family continues to rejoice in the hope of the soon coming of Jesus and pray for the re-uniting of the family, at the Resurrection, with no one missing.

Purchase Flowers

Subscribe to this Obituary

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Tribute Wall

Please feel free to sign the guestbook or share a memory

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • August 02, 2011
    Linda and Merle Isaak says:
    Donna was my aunt. She was such a great example of someone who found life a celebration! I will always remember her wonderful smile and joyful laughter. Her curiosity, determination and faithfulness showed her great appreciation for the many gifts God provided her. How many people finish a PhD after the age of 50? She fully enjoyed her children and grandchildren and did all she could to lend them support. she also cared deeply about the lives of other family members who lived so far away. I will miss her, as will all who knew her.

  • August 02, 2011
    Nan Smith, Glenn & Eloise Dalton says:
    We will all miss Donna, she was a lovely lady. Our Prayers and thoughts are with you at this time.

  • August 02, 2011
    Jo Ann Jones says:
    Mrs. Garza's daughter, Susan and son-in-law Ed Rowe are my neighbors and friends. I met Mrs. Garza through them, I found her to be very knowledgable and pleasant. I know she will be missed greatly by her family and friends.

  • August 06, 2011
    Tim and Ann Whited says:
    May God hold all of you in his arms during your season of sorrow. Hold fast to the hope that is ours in Christ. Rev Tim and Ann Whited

  • August 12, 2011
    Susana Cabello says:
    It is so hard for me to put into words what I am feeling at this time, but I will attempt to communicate them to my family in this difficult time. Tia Donnna has been always a source of inspiration to me, although I was not fortunate to interact much with her due to distance and allowing our busy lives to absorb us daily, I always had a soft spot for my Tia Donna. She was a true example of a woman with many talents, an unwavering faith, a strong determination to reach her goals but most of all, a woman with a loving heart for her children and extended family. I for one, am eternally grateful to her for helping me get through a difficult time in my life during my Junior year in high school. It was an emotional time for me to focus in school but with the help of my Tia, she helped me get through Algebra II with a report card grade of A, I might add. She was an amazing woman! I was happy and honored to talk to her on my 50th birthday. She was as bubbly and cheerful as I remembered her yet sounded a little frail as expected for a woman her age. Nevertheless, she was as spunky as can be full of life! As I recollect, she had her own ideas about things and strong opinions but she always managed to listen to what we had to say. As a child, I remember so vividly when my Uncle Oscar and her would get into philosophical discussions about everything and anything of which I had no clue what they were talking about, I only remember that it would end with her great smile and chucle that is so unique of her. Tia Donna's presence will be surely missed by many, especially her children. But her spirit will continue to live through her children and grandchildren. Tia Donna you were blessed with a beautiful, loving family and once again, you have met yet another goal of many...your legacy will continue through your children. Your life is one that I would like to emulate. I love you Tia Donna! I know that you are with our Lord right now. Your journey is complete here on earth. May you rest in peace. Love & Prayers, Your niece, Susana Dear cousins: Samuel,Daniel,David,Susan, Steen and John, We are here for you. We are just a phone call away. Love & Prayers Susana and Family