Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Rebecca Ann Moyer Donnally

Rebecca and Estella hardly knew their mother.  She died in 1888 and they soon moved from Iowa and away from the their mother's family.  I felt thrilled when I found this very informative obituary from the Lewiston Tribune, dated Saturday, July 24, 2010.  It is about Rebecca's youngest daughter, Della Irene Donnally Kemp and gave me some more information about her mother.

Della Irene Donnally Kemp, 92, of Grangeville, passed gently away at home with her family at her side Thursday, July 22, 2010. Della, the youngest of seven children, was born in Thurman, Iowa, April 28, 1918, to William Moses and Rebecca Ann Moyer Donnally. About three months after she was born, her mother died of influenza and the family traveled by train to Mount Idaho, where she resided for 87 years. She has lived in Clarkston with her daughter and son-in-law, Becky and Mike Moriarty, for the past several years.
Della was raised in Mt. Idaho by her aunt and uncle, Maude and Andy Donnally, while her brothers, Frank, Harvey, Charlie and Lloyd, and her sisters, Hazel and Esther, were raised at the Children's Home in Lewiston.
She went to elementary school at the Country School in Mount Idaho, which was on the hill above her home. She graduated from Grange-ville High School in 1936, where she enjoyed school activities including basketball, sewing, algebra, track and field. Since there were no buses, Della walked the 3 miles from Mount Idaho to Grangeville to attend school.
She enjoyed fishing and old-time dances in Mount Idaho. She would attend social activities in a horse-drawn sled during the snowy winters. In 1937, Della graduated from My Ladies Beauty School in Boise.
While she was a senior in high school and working at the Idaho Hotel, she met and fell in love with Bill Kemp, even though he came in with his muddy boots to clean up in the restroom, which she then had to clean as part of her job. They were married by the justice of the peace in Lewiston, Nov. 30, 1940. They began their married life at the family's Salmon River Big Bar sheep ranch, a 27-mile horse trip from Forest, Idaho, near Winchester. The family herded sheep regularly from the Salmon River to the Buffalo Hump area on foot and horseback.
Della helped run the sheep camp and, in August 1941, came out on horseback to Forest and traveled on to Grangeville for the birth of their first son, Billy. Two weeks later, she went back on horseback to the sheep camp.
In 1944, Della once again rode horseback from the Salmon River to Forest, traveling on to Cottonwood, where a second son, Ricky, was born. The family later moved to their home in Mount Idaho. During this time, Bill and Della ran the Pine Grove Dance Hall in Mount Idaho. Their third child and first daughter, Becky, was born about the time the dance hall closed in 1947. In 1950, their fourth child, Connie Ruth, was born, and nine years later daughter Kaylynn came along!
Della was a full-time homemaker, dedicated to making sure her husband and children were raised with love and care. Always taking an active part, Della was a Cub Scout den mother and Camp Fire Girls leader, where she was honored for 30 years of service, a chapter mom for Demolay and a Job's Daughter adviser. She and Bill were always proud of the fact that their family had two past master counselors of Demolay and two past honored queens of Job's Daughters. She also volunteered with 4-H, Triple Bar Drill Team and was a school volunteer.
Della was a 50-year member and past noble grand in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Rebekah Lodge, and a 50-year member of Mountain Queen Chapter No. 11 Order of Eastern Star, serving in various positions and making lifelong friends. She most enjoyed the kitchen and banquet committees that she chaired. She was a charter member of the
Grangeville Eagles Auxiliary No. 539 and was the
Idaho state president in 1988. She and Bill both enjoyed working the many Eagles breakfasts for which the Eagles are widely known. She spent many years up at Fish Creek either with the Camp Fire Girls, the Eagles campouts, or teaching her grandchildren how to fish.
Some of Della's fondest memories came from her time spent bowling with her OK Rubber Welder teammates, Maxine, Opal and Shirley. Oh, the stories she would tell of her team travels to many different bowling tournaments! Bill had just as much fun watching them bowl as the girls did rolling their balls down the alley.
Della enjoyed picking huckleberries. She did not like to give out her secret spots, but if you went with her you would come home with lots of berries. She also enjoyed going "mushrooming" with Bill. They would bring back gallons of mushrooms and spend hours cleaning and canning them for friends and family. She spent many summer hours fishing at Mallard Creek with Jack and Mary Eagle. She always looked forward to their summer visits and bringing home lots of trout to freeze for the winter.
Besides bowling, she loved to crochet and sew. The last 7 years she spent building quilts for all of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was always working on some sort of project for one of her children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren. The quilts and afghans are loved by her family just as much as she loved creating them. When she wasn't crafting or sewing, Della was reading - she was a voracious reader and loved stories of all kinds.
Della was preceded in death by her husband of 54 years, William; her son, Billy; her daughter, Connie Ruth; and all of her brothers and sisters.
She is survived by her son, Rick Kemp and Connie of Woodburn, Ore.; her daughters, Becky Moriarty and Mike of Clarkston, and Kaylynn Irusta and Bob of Boise; her sister-in-law, Lois Donnally; brother-in-law Walter Kemp and Frances; her grandchildren, Chris Hardy and Linda, Tony Hardy and Rebecca, Blaine Moriarty and Dusty, Alan Brown, Michele Fredrickson and Zach, Reiko Kemp and Fred, and Kaitlyn Irusta; and her great-grandchildren, Ashley, Sarah Jane, Tate, Trae, Parker, Kalea, Katie and Ava, with another on the way.
She will be missed dearly by her little dog Penny, all of her family who loved her deeply, and many, many lifelong friends in Grangeville and Mount Idaho who are left with many wonderful memories.
The family would like to thank her longtime doctor, Daniel B. McIntosh, and Tri-State Hospice for their caring and help in the last days of her life.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to
Grangeville Eagles Auxiliary No. 539, Grangeville Rebekah Lodge, American Diabetes Association or Tri-State Hospital Foundation.

Graveside services will be held at Monday at the Mount Idaho Cemetery. The Eagles Auxiliary will conduct a ritual ceremony followed by a reception at the Eagles Lodge in Grangeville. Visitation is from to at the Blackmer Funeral Home in Grangeville. Condolences may be sent to the family at

Rebecca Ann Moyer Donnally passed away January 31, 1919 in Council Bluffs, Iowa.  The death certificate states that she was buried in McPaul (Thurman), Iowa.  Della was less than a year old.  It is sad to think that Rebecca didn't know her mother, Nancy McQuin Myers, and Della also did not have much time with her mother either. 

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