Donna S. (Emmons) LaFollette, 76, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, departed this life for her eternal home in Heaven, Friday, May 11, 2018. Donna was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, to the late Richard and Mildred (Schomberg) Emmons. A graduate of Southport High School in 1960, she attended Purdue University and then earned her Bachelor’s degree in Education from Butler University in 1964. She continued her education by receiving her Master’s degree from Indiana University. Donna was an English and Language Arts teacher for 37 years, primarily in Salem Community Schools. She was honored as Teacher of the Year by the Indiana Middle Level Education Association in 1996. Donna was greatly respected and admired by her colleagues and students, many whom were in regular contact. During her teaching career, Donna was an active member of SCTA, ISTA, and NEA. As President and Bargaining Chairperson of SCTA, she was able to meet her husband, Bill. Donna was also a gifted writer and a published poet. As a member of Women Who Write in Louisville, she taught creative writing to her students, and several of these students were honored as Promising Young Writers in Indiana. Donna was a long-time member and elder of the historic Salem Presbyterian Church in Salem, Indiana, where she and Bill were married in 1987. Following her retirement in 2004, Donna devoted her time to volunteering for multiple causes. She was a long-time Red Cross blood donor and a reader/recorder for the Reading for the Blind and Dyslexic Studio, devoted 10 years to the NICU for premature and drug-addicted babies at the children’s hospital, and was a member of the Eastern Star for over 50 years. Donna was also an active member of Coterie and PEO in New Albany and Eternal Health Yoga Studio in Louisville. Donna and Bill traveled extensively, visiting all 50 states, a majority of Canadian Provinces, and many European countries. Their favorite places together were San Francisco, Paris, Ireland, and Nova Scotia. Another highlight was coming together with all six children and spouses at Jekyll Island, Georgia, in 2014.
Donna is survived by her husband of 30 years, William O. “Bill” LaFollette; sister, Darlene (Emmons) Blanford from Indianapolis, Indiana; their blended family of children, Michael S. Ratliff, Marla S. Ratliff, Sharon S. LaFollette, Scott A. LaFollette (Sandy), Todd G. LaFollette (Robbyn), and Jennifer L. LaFollette; nephews, Richard Blanford (Anita) and Steven Blanford (Connie); grandchildren, Emmons, Elias, Chasarae, Jacquelynn, Zachary (Holly), Sydni M., Mikal (Jeff), Patrick, and Bailey; great-grandchildren, Madison, Parker, Reagan, Caleb, Breanna, and Mason.
Donna cherished her many friends from Indianapolis, Salem, New Albany, Louisville, and elsewhere. Her faith, caring nature, and loyalty endeared Donna and Bill to family and friends throughout her well-lived life. The family would like to express their sincere appreciation to the caring staff in the Palliative Care Unit of Baptist East Hospital and Chaplain Jim Ivey.
Visitation will be from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 15, 2018, at Newcomer Cremations, Funerals & Receptions (3309 Ballard Lane, New Albany, Indiana 47150). Her Funeral Service will be on Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. at the funeral home with burial to follow at Cave Hill Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Salem Presbyterian Church at 110 North High Street, Salem, Indiana 47167.
Please consider sharing a memory of Donna or leaving a special message for her family by clicking the "Share Memories" button above.