Mrs. Donna J. McElfresh, 86, of Connersville died Thursday, August 12, 2021, at Reid Health, Richmond.

Donna was born to Kenneth and Mildred Kirtley Seybert on July 16, 1935 in Anderson, Indiana. She attended Middletown High School, graduating with the class of 1953. Donna married James M. McElfresh on December 23, 1956 in Middletown. She furthered her education and received her Bachelor’s degree from Ball State University the following year. Donna began teaching first grade at Bentonville Elementary. As luck would have it, her daughter and niece were in her first class. In 1967, Donna took a position teaching Kindergarten at Fayette Central. During this time she continued to further her education and received her Master’s degree in 1972. After twenty-five years of dedication to Fayette Central, Donna began assembling Fayette County’s first Head Start program; she was the Coordinator for fourteen faithful years. Lastly, Donna was the coordinator for Step Up early preschool, prior to her retirement in 2000. She was an avid member of several organizations including Altrusa, Extension Homemakers, Extension Board, United Way, Sweet Adeline’s, Indiana Schools Teacher Association, Retired Teachers Association, and was inducted in the Fayette County Teacher Hall of Fame in 2014. Donna greatly enjoyed reading, researching her family’s genealogy, tending to her cat, and making her famous homemade yeast rolls and cookies. Above all, Donna loved spending time with her family, especially her grand and great-grandchildren. She will be deeply missed by all the lives she has touched.

In addition to her loving husband of sixty-five years, Donna is survived by her daughter and her husband: Sheri Jent and John of Dublin; brother: Bob Seybert and Jane of Lapel; sister: Kay Seybert of Concord, California; daughter-in-law: Marcie McElfresh of Connersville; grandchildren and their spouses: Jennifer Ervin and Dan, Mary Richmond and Daniel all of Connersville, Stephen Vickers and Renee of Arkansas; step-grandson: Dustin Jent and Andrea of Muncie; six great-grandchildren; three step-great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews; special friend: Geneva Taylor.

Donna is preceded in death by her parents; son: Jeffery M. McElfresh; brother: Keith Seybert; two great-grandchildren.

A funeral service will be conducted at 2 p.m. Wednesday, August 18, 2021 at Showalter Blackwell Long, Myers Chapel, Connersville, Pastor Brian Jenkins officiating. Friends may visit the funeral home from 11 a.m. until the time of service. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Bentonville Fire Department in Donna’s honor.