Donna Kay Blackwood, Age :76
Oct 10,1942---Sep 30,2019

Donna’s house was your favorite restaurant where the owner knew your name and said it with a spirit that showed it mattered. Donna’s house was the banquet room you booked to honor that special event, a birthday, or anniversary, or engagement. Donna’s house was a dance club where joyful girls twirled to funky music and inspired even the most shy to shake their booty at least a little. 

When you left Donna’s house, you felt a little more than when you arrived. More confident. More able to take on whatever challenge awaited you.

Donna’s challenge was Alzheimer’s disease. She died Monday, September 30, 2019, after a long, love-filled battle with the disease that also took her own mother, Peggy Morris Shaw, 11 years ago. Donna was 76.

Donna’s house was so much for so many. Her three vivacious daughters and her adoring husband Jim, who died nine years ago, filled it with love, but also with people — friends, and friends of friends, who came to the door for drinks, or dinner, or a party, or no reason other than to see Donna and Jim. They left feeling special for being invited and welcomed.

Donna’s house was at times a shelter for those who needed a roof, or a meal, or a hug. Donna was the therapist who listened, and nodded, and brought smiling eyes and honesty in equal parts.

She often said, “A cup of hot tea and a bath can cure anything.”

Sometimes, Donna’s house was a hospice, where care was offered with love and that same honesty.

Sometimes Donna’s house was quiet, with two teas or two vodka tonics. Those most private conversations were overheard only by the smiling faces of Jim and those vivacious girls in the vacation photos taken by Donna herself on some beach somewhere, where other vacationers were given the honor of being invited to Donna’s house.

Because Donna’s house wasn’t really an address on Reinhardt Drive, or Neosho Lane, or 68th Terrace before that. Donna’s house was wherever Donna was.

She reveled in her beautiful grandchildren, their friends, her godson, nieces and nephews, taking her “Holy Sh#t Club” on so many minivan adventures, picnicking and waving flags as the trains rolled by.

She treated young people like adults. She treated old people like they mattered.

And she called everyone by name.

Alzheimer’s stripped away those names. It took apart Donna’s house piece by piece.  

But thankfully it left behind those smiling eyes and that welcoming spirit.

Over the last couple of years, Donna may not have known who was visiting her but her visitors knew where they were. And they left feeling a little more than when they arrived.

As Donna’s house came apart, her family came together even more. Donna’s sisters supported her daughters. Her daughters supported her.

On Saturday, October 12, Donna’s house will be at Indian Hills Country Club in Mission Hills, Kan, where a Celebration of Life will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. (Comments at 3 p.m.)

Donna is survived by her daughters, Eden and David Thorne (Charlie and Lilly); Natalie Blackwood (Georgia and Woods); and Sydney and Shelby Story (Tillie and Teddy, George).

Family also includes sister Linda Blackshere (Erin, Megan, Devin and Brandon); sister Anita and Bary Marquardt (Stacy, Spencer and Trent); brother-in-law George and Toni Blackwood (Kendrick and Joanna, Shellie, Lauren and Britt).         

A special thank you to her dear friends who lived with her and her dedicated team who cared for her with loving hearts and open arms at Senior Care Homes and Kansas City Hospice.

Donations can be sent in memory of Donna Blackwood to Alzheimer’s Association, Heart of America Chapter, 3846 W. 75th St., Prairie Village, KS 66208 ( or Kansas City Hospice, 1500 Meadow Lake Pkwy., Ste 200, Kansas City, MO 64114.



Eden Oct 04 ,2019

Friend ,Kansas City ,Missouri

My heart is hurting from this news —sending so much love your way. I’ll miss the way Donna made me feel. She meant so much to my family and me.

Courtney Oct 04 ,2019

Super Fan ,Kansas City ,Missouri

Dear Donna glitter-sparkled me at age 12 and I remain sheltered and buoyed by her infinite sunshine all these years later. She made me feel like a rockstar… seen, heard, loved! And her grilled cheese trick has changed my lunch from fine to fab! Thank you, dear Blackwood girls for sharing your remarkable mother with me. There was always room! 💗

Clara Keller & Appel Family Oct 04 ,2019

Friends of the girls ,Kansas City ,Missouri

What a lovely tribute to a special woman. Perhaps her greatest accomplishment was you three girls! Jim and Donnie are smiling down with pride. We love you and will help in any way we can. Hugs, dear friends!

Mindy Fugarino Oct 07 ,2019

Chaplain ,Kansas City ,Kansas

I’m so sorry for your loss and the battle she had to fight with this disease. I was honored to walk a piece of the journey with her and with you all. I pray that you’ll find comfort in one another, in abiding love, and in the legacy she left within each of you.

Celebration of Life
Indian Hills Country Club
6847 Tomahawk Rd.
Mission Hills
Zip Code:
Oct 12 ,2019
2:00 PM
Google Map: