Donna May Lemley

donna lemley
Donna May Lemley passed away in Torrance at the age of 80 on July 22 having spent the last of her days surrounded by family. Donna was born on December 10, 1931 in Bakersfield, California to William and Evelyn Heath. Growing up in Taft, CA her favorite pastime was spent riding and attending to the horses on her grandfather's ranch. While attending high school she met Thomas Lemley, both graduating from Taft Junior College and married after having spent a year in New York City attending Woods Business College. Married in September of 1952, moving to Torrance in 1954 with son Dale in tow, soon after daughter Susan arrives and a very busy life began. Donna was very involved with Carl Steele Elementary while her children attended, having held many offices and finally serving as PTA president. Very involved with Torrance Area Youth Band and then for the next four years the West High marching band. Her spare time was spent doing the many things she loved; playing bridge, decorating cakes, including many wedding cakes, ceramics, producing many baby shoes and her porcelain dolls. The birth of her first grandson, Zebulon, working a job she loved with JC Penney and the birth of her second grandson, Zachary her life again was a busy one. Donna retired, with it lasting one year before she returned to JCP to work part time for many more years. Proceeded in death by Thomas, her husband of 57 years she is survived by son Dale, daughter Susan, grandsons Zebulon and Zachary, sister Dorlee, and sister in law Joretta, numerous nieces and nephews and lastly her beloved pet TWITCH. A memorial service will be held Saturday, September 1, 10:00 a.m. at Rice Mortuary 5310 Torrance Blvd., in Torrance.

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Memories Timeline


  1. RIP grandmother you were truly a great women and will be missed by many and for the lucky ones that have met you we will cherish our memories of you forever

  2. Donna, I will always remember what a good neighbor you have been. I so enjoyed our chats, your since of humor, kindness and generosity. You will be missed.. Jan Bower

  3. I think back to many Christmas Eves when my family spent so much time celebrating with Donna and her family. I can’t even remember a Christmas Eve when I grew up without the Lemleys. I’m going to miss Donna so much. She was one of the sweetest and kindest people I’ve ever met, and meant so much to all the Brownings. Deepest condolences to the entire Lemeley family. Sincerely, Laurie Uyeda (Browning)

  4. Aunt Donna, you always gave to us from your heart with kindness and love. Thank you for being the most wonderful aunt. I will miss you.

  5. My condolences to the Lemley family, your mom and grandmother was a special person and will not be forgotten. I was lucky enough to have some special pieces of ceramics made for me when I was young,and not so young. These items mean alot to me because they were made with love by a special lady. You will be missed.

  6. I am grateful for knowing Donna and Tom, Susan, other family members. Donna was a kind, generous, gracious, gifted person. I so enjoyed our visits. She would speak of her sister, Dorlee, whom she loved immensely; grandkids. She always shared her books too!! I thank Phyllis Sherrill for introducing me in 1997 to this wonderful lady. Susan, Dale, Zeb, Zach., my condolences. HaLen M. Howard

  7. Aunt Donna, I will cherish the memories of Disneyland trips, your pies, painting ceramics, and everything in between. You and Uncle Tom will be in my heart forever.

  8. Our deepest condolences to Susan and Dale and the rest of the Lemley family. Aunt Donna was a wonderful person and will be missed. The Girten Family

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