Donna Kay Spurlock

Donna Kay Spurlock died on December 16, 2015 from metastatic breast cancer. She was 53 years old. Funeral services will be at the United Methodist Church, 262 N 3rd Street, Lander WY on January 9, 2016 at 1pm [image: Inline image 2] She was born in 1962 to Richard E. Woods and Helen Louise Woods. Donna grew up in Wisconsin where she spent a nearly idyllic childhood camping, swimming and ice skating with her three older sisters. After living briefly in Illinois and Oklahoma, she attended high school in Kansas and was active in journalism, speech and debate, and she was also Honored Queen for Job’s Daughters. However, it was a 1979 student exchange to Cali, Colombia that would trigger a love of travel and forever alter her life’s path. Donna was graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in journalism and moved to Jackson to report for the Jackson Hole Guide. While writing a feature story, she serendipitously met her soon-to-be husband in the ghost town of Atlantic City, Wyoming. A long-distance romance ensued while she pursued a secondary education degree at the University of Wyoming. In 1986, she married Charles J. (Charlie) Spurlock at his childhood home, and the couple eventually had two children, Kelly and Aaron. Donna played an active role in her children’s lives, serving as a Sunday School director for the Lander United Methodist Church, Girl Scout Leader and classroom volunteer. Whether organizing sledding parties, searching for elusive pots of gold, delivering May Day baskets or welcoming the Christmas season with a cup of cheer, she sought to help make childhood a magical time for her children. She delighted in creating family traditions and decorating for the holidays. In later years, she took great interest in her children’s educations and said one of her proudest days was when they both graduated from the University of Wyoming on the same day in 2014. Beyond caring for her beloved children and husband, her deepest passion was teaching. An energetic and creative educator, Donna devoted 26 years of her life to teaching Spanish at Lander Valley High School and worked tirelessly on behalf of her students, many of whom also benefitted from trips to Mexico and Costa Rica under her supervision. She completed her master’s degree in 2011 after living in Guanajuato, Mexico for three summers – an experience she treasured. Said one former administrator, “Donna is one of the best instructors I have worked with. Watching Donna in the classroom is the perfect mix of art and science. She has a wonderful sense of humor and is very supportive of students and other staff members.” While she took her students’ education seriously and set high expectations for student learning, she strived to maintain a positive, fun-filled classroom atmosphere. She enjoyed entertaining and organized many student and staff social functions over the years. She also valued her friendships greatly, and was quick to bring a dinner by, send flowers or drop an encouraging note. When the tables turned and she began her fight against cancer, her friends, colleagues and former students reached out to her in extraordinary ways and her family extends its deepest appreciation for that outpouring of support and love. Donna was an enthusiastic gardener, a Scrabble aficionado and an avid fan of Jayhawk basketball. Most of all, she adored traveling and sought continuously to inspire her family and students to broaden their horizons through travel. Keeping in contact with former students and hearing stories of their adventures was particularly gratifying to her. In the summer of 2015, she and her husband realized several major trips, including a trip of a lifetime to Italy, and she was very grateful to have had the opportunity for post-retirement travel with Charlie before her disease made it too difficult. She is survived by her husband Charlie and children Kelly and Aaron; father, Richard E. Woods; sisters Cynthia Fischer and her husband Dennis, Rebecca Woods Bloom and her husband Rich, Marilyn Woods and her partner Kathy Nelson; father-in-law Chuck Spurlock; sister in law Kit Scott and her husband Joe; sister in law Diane and her husband Bud; and a number of nieces and nephews. The family suggests memorials to the Lander United Methodist Church, 262 N 3rd Street, Lander WY 82520 and Hope for Health Hospice, 1240 College View Dr., Riverton WY 82501. #county10 #obits