Donna Jeanne Harley-Cipriano

Image of Donna Jeanne Harley-Cipriano

Donna Jeanne Harley-Cipriano

Donna Jeanne Harley-Cipriano was born in DesMoines,Iowa on January 14th 1933 to Parents Paul and Faye Harley. She was the youngest of 3 children, joining older siblings Delores and DeWayne. She grew up on a farm in Ankeny, Iowa and enjoyed helping her Mom and Dad with the garden and milking of the cows.

Donna left the little town of Ankeny, Iowa in her late teens to move out to the big city of Seattle,Washington and join her Cousin Beverly who was already there. She worked for Paramount Studios in Seattle as a secretary and taught dance lessons. That is where she met Larry Staley and they married in 1956. In 1958 they had  their first of two children Lisa, then Doug followed in 1960. Larry had one Daughter,Debby from a previous marriage.

They enjoyed a comfortable lifestyle living in Seattle on the shores of Lake Washington. Although she never learned how to swim, (she would drag Lisa and Doug to her swim lessons with her), she was a good sport and would wear multiple life jackets to go out on the water. And even tried water skiing a time or two. She even tried snow skiing once, but that didn’t work so well either.  She was pretty willing to give just about anything a try, at least once.  She was able to be a stay-at-home Mom to raise her kids, but also enjoyed helping out at Larry’s several restaurants they owned in downtown Seattle.

Donna loved to take on projects around the house and yard, often getting friends and neighbors involved.

Debby welcomed her first daughter Krystal in 1974 and Donna was able to travel to Germany with Lisa and Doug to see all of them and go on many adventures throughout Europe. Debby’s second Daughter Caprice was born in 1979, after they came back to the US and she enjoyed spending time with them.

She was an excellent seamstress and made a lot of the clothes for herself and the kids. She also enjoyed knitting crocheting and cooking.

She and Larry divorced in 1977 and she went to work at the Sea Galley Restaurant as a waitress.  That was where she met Chip.

They were together for 20 years, married for 10 of them and during that time, they especially enjoyed traveling with his baseball team. She was always there to cheer him on, whether he was playing or eventually coaching Senior Softball. She was so excited when they won a silver medal at the Senior Olympics!!!

In 1983, Lisa married Dan and she was so excited to have him join our Family. With Dan, also came his wonderful and very large loving Family, who she and Chip spent many Family Holidays and Celebrations with.

In 1985, Lisa gave birth to Bret and in 1987 Brandon was born, she was so happy to be a Gramma!!!

Donna could be a bit of a prankster herself, but she met her match when it came to those two Grandson’s……. She thought they were so funny and could do no wrong.

She used to call them her Honey Bunnies, so they started calling her Gramma Honey Bunny. She loved it !!!

Donna and Chip also loved to watch the boys play their sports. They went to so many games to cheer them on.

The boys in turn went to watch their Grandpa Chip play softball and cheer him on. Brandon loved to help out being the team’s Bat Boy, which made his Gramma proud.

Sadly, Chip lost his battle with cancer in January 2000 and Donna lost a part of herself too……

She still came to Johnson Family gatherings and the Grandson’s sporting events etc., but being alone was taking its toll on her and she began what would be her long battle with Dementia…….

By 2007, she was unable to live alone and moved to Overlake Terrace Assisted Living where she remained until April 2017. She then moved to Kingsgate Senior Care Adult Family Home where she was loved by every one of her wonderful caregivers. They made Donna and Lisa part of their loving Family. We will forever be grateful for their love and care.

Donna will be missed by so many, especially her Family and Friends, but she is now free from the Dementia that took all of her wonderful memories and eventually her life.

She is free to be with Chip and so many that have gone before her.

She will be remembered as a kind , gentle, loving person who loved to giggle.

We Love You, Mom, Gramma, Friend….


Donna is survived by her Son Doug Staley; Daughter Lisa Johnson, her Husband Dan; Grandson, Bret Johnson, his wife Jessi; Great grandchildren Cole and Sophie; Grandson Brandon Johnson; Stepdaughter Debby Croft, her Husband Steve; Granddaughter Krystal Winter; Great Granddaughter Cari; Granddaughter  Caprice Roque, her Husband Alan; Great Grandchildren Nikki, Hailee, and Cadence; and Great-Great Granddaughter Viviana.

Donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association

Footprints in the Sand

One night I dreamed a dream.
As I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
One belonging to me and one to my Lord.

After the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,
especially at the very lowest and saddest times,
there was only one set of footprints.

This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said once I decided to follow you, You’d walk with me all the way. But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life, there was only one set of footprints.

I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.”

He whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you.”


One Response to “Donna Jeanne Harley-Cipriano”

  • Lisa Johnson says:

    You will be missed more than words can say, but I know you are free from desease and at peace with the Angels now.
    Love you forever,

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