Donna Frances Branum, 85, of Casa Grande AZ passed away on April 18, 2022. Donna was born on August 12, 1936 in Little River, Arkansas to James Basil Heard and Otha Bunting.
She was a daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, business woman, inn keeper, a loved cousin, and a woman of faith whose goal in life was to be helpful to the people she cared about.
Donna was known and held dear by people because she was likable and kind. She had a quiet, gentle way of interacting with people. She was a genuinely nice person that people enjoyed being around.
Donna met Shelby Branum at a local soda shop. He became her best friend and the love of her life. They married at the Presbyterian Rock Church in Casa Grande in 1954. They remained together until Shelby’s death in January 1997.
Shelby and Donna started a farm equipment business - Shelby Branum Used Farm Equipment – that they operated together for 40 years. Following Shelby’s death, Donna spent 5 years running the bed and breakfast at the Ramsey Canyon Inn with her daughter and son-in-law. During the time Donna was there, she became known for the food she served at the Inn, especially the pies. After she left the inn, she worked at a Best Western as a breakfast hostess for several years.
At the same time, Donna was a full-time homemaker. To support the young people in the family she participated in Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts and 4H. To support her community, she belonged to various women’s clubs. She was an outstanding cook who loved her family and cooking for family events. She especially loved hosting family holiday get togethers for her 3 children, 5 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren. She loved her family wholeheartedly.
Her personal interests were all very creative. Cooking, sewing, sketch drawing, writing poetry and gardening.
Her parents James Basil Heard and Otha Bunting, husband, Shelby, sisters Phyllis Koretz, Susan Bloomquist and Evelyn Edwards preceded her in death. Donna is survived by daughter Vicki Sutera (Casa Grande, AZ), son Benny Branum (Casa Grande, AZ) and daughter Lynne Smay (husband Randy) (Maricopa, AZ), brother James Heard (Casa Grande, AZ), sister Kim Lawrence (Yuma, AZ), sister Randi Rice (Bakersfield, CA) sister Karen Biondich (Peoria, AZ), sister Becky James (Casa Grande, AZ), and numerous treasured grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Services are being handled by Warren Funeral Home at 525 Peart Rd, Casa Grande, (520)836-3041. The service is on April 30 (Saturday) – 9 AM visitation, 10 AM service and then burial ceremony at Mt View cemetery. Reception following at 813 N. Coolidge Ave, Casa Grande.