Donna Avery

Donna Jean (Lawson) Avery, 88, of Arkansas City, died Tuesday, June 25, 2019, at South Central Kansas Medical Center of Arkansas City.

Funeral services are at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 29, at the First United Methodist Church of Arkansas City. Burial will follow in Memorial Lawn Cemetery.

The family will greet friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Rindt-Erdman Funeral Home and Crematory of Arkansas City.

Memorials have been established with the First United Methodist Church and the Endowment Association of Cowley College. Contributions can be made through the funeral home. Online condolences can be made at

Donna was born July 4, 1930, in Pierce City, Mo., to Donovan and Mary (Emberton) Lawson. Her family moved to Arkansas City when she was 3 months old. Donna attended local schools, graduating from Arkansas City High School in 1948 and later Arkansas City Junior College (Cowley College). Donna married Joe Avery on Sept. 4, 1949, at the Central Christian Church of Arkansas City. The couple made their home locally all their married lives. Donna worked for Rock and Smith Attorneys at Law for several years, and later was the first woman executive director of the Arkansas City Area Chamber of Commerce, first woman manager of the Strother Field Industrial Park and first woman manager of an airport in Kansas. Donna was a longtime trustee of Cowley College, first woman president of the Arkansas City Rotary Club, a charter member of Arkansas City AFS and hosted several AFS students through the years. She was a member of Chapter GH of P.E.O., past president of the Kansas Airport Association and former member and past president of the local American Business Women’s Association. Donna was one of the three first women elders at Central Christian Church. She was an active member of the First United Methodist Church.

She was preceded in death by her parents, sister and husband.

Survivors include her daughters, Pat White and husband, Bob, of Scottsdale, Ariz., Pam Archer and husband, Steve, of Arkansas City, and Lea McBride and husband, Jim, of Blackwell, Okla.; son, David Avery and wife, Kathy, of Arkansas City; grandchildren, Chris White and wife, Patti, Julie Holdsworth and husband, Zack, Ryan LeGrand and wife, Ceci, Dana Wilson, Kalea Stafford and husband, Jarin, Dustin Avery and wife, Brandy, Derek Avery and wife, Mallory, and Devin Avery; stepgrandchildren, Gay Kincaid and husband, Chris and Jeff McBride; great-grandchildren Gabi and Eli White, Blake, Grant and Vivian Holdsworth, Jordan and AJ Wilson, Santiago and Maya LeGrand, Ace and Delaney Stafford, Katelynn and Boston Avery, Brant and Brody Avery; stepgreat-grandchildren, Ashlee Sharp and husband, Kisen, and Kimberlee Fleming; and a stepgreat-great-grandchild, Keslee.