Donna Middel | MY DAUGHTER |
Updated: Feb 14
From Her Dad:
It was on September 22, 1955 when Dr. Procter came out of the delivery room at the Presbyterian Hospital in Denver, and says, “Lyle, You are the father of a beautiful and active little girl.” … putting his hand on my shoulder, he said, “If you don’t think you can handle her, let me know … she’s already kicking and laughing. I could use somebody like that in my family!” We sat down and had a good visit. Dr. Procter was a good friend as well as the delivering physician.
Dr. Procter had been my personal doctor for some ten years. I said, “We already have a name for her, “Donna Jean”. He went on to say, “In a few days you can take her home and then bring her in for me to check her out in a few days.”
Donna began to grow … was not a fussy baby, but delightful from there on. Donna grew like a weed, but more beautifully, and quickly became the love of everybody who met her.
From her childhood, Donna was quick to catch on and faithful of her pursuit of happiness and usefulness. Oh, she got into scrapes and predicaments … but her life from the beginning seemed to be directed as a life of usefulness and joy. When she was old enough she began attending “preschool” at Ralston Elementary. As she grew her field of interest widened and life began to take shape. She had a special love for animals and birds. Why, I have no idea … but it was for real. When she got old enough, with her older brother, Dale, we built houses for bluebirds (that we hung on fence posts on the road all over Lookout Mountain). Included in her animal interests were horses … especially little ones. One day a local sheriff’s deputy (Ron Ralston) stopped to see her because he found an injured small pony along a country road … with no one to care for it. He brought it to our house and the race was on. She loved horses!
However, her school interests, activities and study never changed. She was active in countless activities at school … and, when Governor John Love was coming to visit Ralston Elementary School (she was in the third grade), a vote was taken in the class as to who would welcome and introduce him to the school. Donna’s name was at the head of the list.
Donna was active and successful in many activities, hobbies and responsible programs from then on. As she got older, she began to work wherever she was capable, including Mt. Vernon Country Club, greeting people as they arrived, and when she was older she did secretarial work at Mt. Vernon Country Club.
By now, Donna Jean was in junior high and then high school. She continued to excel, getting her education at Golden High School (college was never an interest to her)… but she was never without work, even to this day.
As a child she became very active in horseback riding, competitive horseback activities and promoting interests of others in horseback activities. For a number of years, Donna was active in Gymkhanas and promoted the whole area of horseback riding and outdoor activities. She was ready at any moment to be helpful to others … but never lost her primary interest in horses. She thought everybody should have a horse. In the years that followed we gave many horses and ponies to others. At one time Dr. Wilson came by to tell her that he had a horse that he had to get rid of … it had lost all of its hair. The question was, “What would she do if it were hers?,” .. and then he added, “I’ll give you the horse. We named the horse Billy. Then, she loved that horse, called Drs. Manning and Pollaro, vets, and they laughed, and said, “You can cure him but it may take a year.” How? “Give him one dozen raw eggs in his breakfast food every day for a year.” We did that. We had that horse for a number of years with many children from the neighborhood enjoying many rides. Oh, we had lots of horses … perhaps Sonny was her favorite. He was a foal off the King Ranch in Texas, was a bit pigeon toed and slow to respond … owned by General Wayne Kester. We bought him for $200 … with him she won many accolades and he became well-known in the horse circles around Golden.
I could go on and on about things Donna did but one of the most significant was, “she was a real friend.” Donna took all of life seriously and most always with a smile. She studied, became a legal secretary, and one day wanted her own office. She and I looked into every angle. Donna decided she would like a secretarial office in Fort Collins and to build there a secretarial business without limits. She rented office space on College Avenue from the Middel Realty Company …
New history was about to be written. She met Marc Middel! They had known each other from some previous activities, and one day announced their plans to be married. Another beautiful day in her life, in the life of the Middel family and countless others, Donna and Marc worked together and with Marc’s ambitious talent, developed a beautiful Realty business. Help was hired, Donna worked for some while, and then went on vacation. All of us have been blessed by this beautiful family, Marc and Donna Middel, with their one son, Matt.
I am not only proud to be her father … I am proud to have been her friend. (Her mother, Gladys, preceeded her in death In December, 1987).
I have no doubt but that ‘heaven is beautiful’ but I am confident that it is now even “one person more beautiful.”
All of us certainly share our love with Marc, Matt and the rest of their whole family; Emily, Jocelyn, Leandra, Aurelia, etc., etc.
P.S. Donna was one of the most active persons that I have ever known. She has left, everywhere that she has been, “a bit better because she was there.”
Thanks, Dr. Proctor!