It is with great sadness that we announce the peaceful passing of our dear mother, Donna Mauldin at the age of 82. Donna left this earth to be with our Lord on the eve of June 3, 2017. Although she may be gone from our sight, she will never be gone from our hearts.
Donna was born November 3, 1934 in Wendell, Idaho to Mary Lou Depew Laird Robison (Wayne) and Gordon Mead Laird. She was the eldest of six children growing up on a farm just south of Jerome, Idaho. Her formative years were spent caring for her siblings, living the farm life and developing a lifelong love for dance. She attended Canyonside School in Jerome through the eighth grade and then graduated from Jerome High School as valedictorian in 1952. A quote from her high school year book reads: "Donna Laird~ Her prize possession is her dancing feet. You will always find her calm and sweet.~ ... and so it was! At graduation, Donna listed her hobby as "dance" and her ambition as "school teacher". In the years to follow, Donna succeeded in achieving her goals and lifelong desires.
During her first college semester at Idaho State University, Donna began teaching dance classes in the Burley-Rupert area in 1953. Later that year, Donna married her high school sweetheart and love of her life, Bon Mauldin, who preceded her, passing away in 2006. They were married for 53 years. Following their union, Donna and Bon moved to Reno, Nevada where Donna continued to pursue her college education at the University of Nevada majoring in Home Economics. Donna also established small dance studios in three separate cities in the Reno area. She attended many dance conventions in California to further her own dance education. It was the birth of their first daughter, Kelli, in 1955 along with the yearning to return to Idaho to be closer to family, which brought Donna, her aspirations, and her young family to Twin Falls in 1957. With the purchase of the former Church of the Brethren building, situated on 3rd Ave North in Twin Falls, Donna and Bon established the permanent location for her dance studio and dancing kindergarten/preschool which would become home for the Mauldin family for three generations. The dance studio carries on to this day; some 60 years later. As she raised her family of four, Donna continued fulfilling her ambitions, educating countless students in dance and preschool until the age of 72.
It was in the 1960's that Donna's love of God and Country led her to become active in the pursuit of government awareness. She strived diligently to preserve the values of our country and culture born out of America's great history. For nearly 30 years she served her community as an elected official for her district. Donna devoted much of her time to educating her community about current events and social changes affecting the future of our children and country.
Donna was preceded in death by her parents; two brothers, William and Scott; and her husband, Bon. Surviving Donna are her two sisters, Carolyn and Vicki; and one brother, Dan. She is also survived by her four children, Kelli Jo Turner (Mick); Vayle Bon (Rose); Shari Ann; and David Owen. In her later years, Donna delighted in the joys of being a grandmother to seven grandchildren and a great grandmother to ten great grandchildren.
The family suggests memorial donations be offered to the Twin Falls Church of the Brethren. Had it not been for the opportunity to purchase the old church so long ago, the reality of the Mauldin Dance Studios throughout the Magic Valley may never have occurred. Donna's ambitions to become a "teacher" touched the lives of innumerable children and families. "To teach is to touch the future." -McAuliffe.
A viewing will be held from 6:00 pm until 8:00 pm, Friday, June 16, 2017 at Farnsworth Mortuary, 1343 S Lincoln Ave, Jerome. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 pm, Saturday, June 17, 2017 at Farnsworth Mortuary, with graveside services concluding at Jerome Cemetery.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family on Donna's memorial webpage at www.farnsworthmortuary.com .