Donna Margaret Poyner

Donna Margaret Poyner passed away Tuesday, April 9, 2024 at the age of 97 surrounded by family. She is preceded in death by her loving husband, James; her parents Earl and Effie Cortright; brothers Kenneth and Homer Cortright and sister Joyce Poyner.

Donna was born in Waterloo, Iowa on December 13, 1926 and lived in Orange Township where she graduated from High School at 16 years of age-the youngest in her class. After graduation she worked at a variety store, the telephone company, and then at an A&P grocery store where she met the love of her life, Jim Poyner. They got married on June 1, 1947.

While Jim attended Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, Donna worked at an insurance company. Des Moines is where their first child, Jerald was born. After graduation, Donna and Jim moved to Charles City where Linda was born, and Donna stayed home with their children and managed the household for ten years.

In 1961 Donna and Jim moved their family to Cedar Falls, Iowa to open their own Ben Franklin store. After a few years, they renamed the business Flower City. It was limited to an array of artificial flowers, Christmas trees, gifts, and decorative items. Donna LOVED Christmas and delighted in decorating all the Christmas trees in unique themes. Her love of Christmas flowed into her home as there was not a corner of any residence, they lived in that was not decorated.

In 1973, they sold their store and moved to sunny Orlando, Florida where Disney World was just opening, and everything was booming. They opened their shop, Flower Town/Patio World. It thrived in Longwood, FL and then in 1976, they opened Casual World on Colonial in Orlando, and it kept them busy and profitable for many years.

Her greatest achievement, however, was the love she had for her husband of 73 years James Lewis. Donna truly left a legacy by how she cherished her dearly beloved who preceded her in death in 2020. She also leaves behind her loving daughter Linda (Steve) Kohn; son Jerald Poyner; daughter-in-love Paulette; sister Carole, her much adored grandchildren: Josh (Tiffany) Kohn; Kelly (Michael) Winkler; Reggie (Ashley) Kohn; Abby (Michael) Mezger; Katherine (Patrick) Poyner-Del-Vento; Kristine (Justin) Hertzog; James Hall; Richard (Mille) Poyner-Kristoffersen, and Laura Poyner (HP) and several nieces and nephews. She was a gracious patriarch and loving great-grandmother to 19 great-grandchildren; she will be remembered by them, as well as many family members and friends.

The family wishes to send a special thank you to the loving caregivers provided by Sandcastle for their care and compassion, especially Barbara and Rose.

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