Decatur, Illinois

Decatur, Illinois
Curve-In, Fairview Avenue

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Donna Camp

Donna Camp actively got involved in Big Mac activities, supporting the school's spirit (e.g. class float, prom, and homecoming). Donna, who happened to live in my neighborhood, was one of those smiling classmates you remember from kindergarten, all the way up through high school, who always tried to brighten everyone's day. In the present, she is Donna Maddox, and as you can see from her post-Mac life, she has continued to lift spirits during her journey.

Donna passed along this detailed sketch:

"As I sit here trying to decide what to write I have to chuckle. I have been blessed to have had employment opportunities that have been challenging and educational all my life. That was a double edged sword in that they all were either ownership or management jobs that required way too many hours. Seems even the time I’ve donated to the organizations I’ve loved have been doing things that required tremendous amounts of time.

"I’ve worked for Illinois Bell and AT&T. I started my own team cleaning business. I’ve been involved in land development in most all aspects, plus construction, both residential and commercial. I know how to chain your property and do a punch list for the house you built plus do the construction disbursement of all funds to build it and title work too. Somewhere in there I helped run the delivery department at a lumber company. I have also been the office manager for an ownership of several businesses thru that one office. I stopped working when my first grandson was born but when kindergarten came I was taking a job as a bookkeeper, part time, just for fun.

"Some of the time I’ve donated that I’ve found most fulfilling was serving Childrens World Learning Center in Pekin, Illinois for 7 years. They were a non-profit daycare and preschool program licensed for 150 children that was not federally funded. I did huge amounts of fund raising and organizational work while on that board. I also served on the board of directors of the Pekin Memorial Hospital Auxiliary for several years. I’ve taught Sunday school and done the Bible school teaching when my kids were little and loved every minute of it. I’ve been an elder of my church.

"I love being a wife. Being a mom was the biggest adventure and challenge and hardest fun work of my entire life. I never wanted my kids to grow up. I never had grandparents and never had kids at home to grow up with, so my kids were totally fascinating to me. My kids now have given me grandchildren. Oh my, have I ever found my calling. I’ve got six of them from the age of 15 down to almost two and boy do I love them. I’m not the greatest volunteer to keep them while everybody goes out for a good time, but can I ever put together a field trip or a day of adventure.

"My oldest son is in the white collar end of construction and travels all over the country for his company. My daughter is a pre-k teacher. My youngest son is building houses on his own.

"I have found that in my life, the challenge I love is to make things. I used to sew; I’m always making something and the art room upstairs is the kids' favorite place. I have to make a garden and my landscaping will never be done because I always have to make it better. I have to check out the yard sales for great treasures. I’m always on the look out for the next antique. I love auctions.

"The life experiences I’ve had have left me knowing that for me my world is right when the dogs nose prints are on the slider door, the laundry room has laundry from the grand kids being in and out all the time, my old garage has not only antiques to work on but is full of bicycles and trikes and basketballs along with my tractor and my gardening stuff, when I look at my husband Wayne after all these years and know just what quality of life really means.

"I forgot to mention that I'm retired now.

"They say that as you age you start forgetting stuff. I'm trying to figure out how I can create selective forgetting. I want to start with all the career knowledge. That way I can free up space for the family memories I cherish and never want to forget. If I can perfect this and bottle it, then I'll be one rich old lady. But with my luck, I'll forget where I wrote down the formula."

Later, Donna wrote:

"I guess I drained my brain trying to write that bio that I totally forgot about telling you about my first car.

"I had Wayne and Cheryl so I didn't really need a car in high school. But my first car was a 69 VW bug. It was the cutest thing. Beige with real mag wheels and a real wooden steering wheel and shift knob. When I went in to the dealer (out on Pershing by the Cat plant) to order it the salesman was taking down all the specifics of what I wanted and when I told him I wanted it to be yellow he just laughed. He told me I'd never see VW putting out a yellow car. I'd have to get one then go pay somebody to paint it yellow. So I begrudgingly ordered beige. Wish I had that salesman today to show him all those darn cute YELLOW VW's running around. I sure would love to have that car back.

"Now I've just traded in my Jeep Grand Cherokee for a Chrysler Town and Country mini van. I wanted something that will allow me to take the grandkids, golden retriever, work well for auctions, haul my yard supplies and flowers and bushes and be comfortable for traveling, so I can bring more back home than I left with."

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