Gordonna Ferne (Donnie) Chaney was born to Virgil and Maude (Stout) Bates in Peggs, Oklahoma, on December 3, 1931, the youngest of six girls. She quietly passed from this world on Sunday, October 23, 2022, at the age of 90 years and ten months. During grade school, she and her mom moved to Tulsa where she graduated from Tulsa Central High and Tulsa Business School. Gordonna married Russell Edward (Topper) Chaney on June 10, 1950; celebrating their 71st wedding anniversary just before his passing. They began their married life in midtown Tulsa then moved to Brookside until 1964 when they abandoned suburban life for 40 acres south of Sam’s Corner near Locust Grove. She told Topper she would move to the country if she could take her automatic dishwasher. After inspecting the plumbing, Topper climbed out from under the house and reported, “there are no plumbing issues because this 1900s farmhouse has no plumbing.” Over the next 30+ years they created a home for their two children and grandchildren to make beautiful memories. The wrap-around screened-in porch was a great place for the grandkids to ride their tricycles, and if Donnie was in the right mood, she would let them ride in a circle through the house and around the porch. Always the energizer bunny, she tended her chickens, milked her cow, babied the market steers, harvested honey from her bee hives and grew a substantial garden. Three of her favorite hobbies included browsing for antiques, porcelain dolls and ceramics. She poured and fired her own ceramics; if you knew her well, you probably own one or two of her creations. A skilled secretary, Gordonna worked at numerous businesses and schools over the span of her professional career.
In 1992, they transitioned from life on the farm to Thurman Street in Pryor where they created a lovely backyard oasis. She logged over 3,000 volunteer hours as a Pink Lady at Mayes County Medical Center. Another facet of her life was serving the Lord at Tulsa Immanuel, Cedar Crest Baptist, Pryor First Baptist and Life Fellowship churches. She was a great cook and everyone savored her fluffy buttered mashed potatoes. Fishing for perch, camping at “The Cabin” or Lakeshore were favorite pastimes as well as bus trips with Topper and friends. Both casual events and holidays with her family were precious to Donnie. Donnie’s family describes her as sassy, strong-willed, adventurous, and a tad ornery. The great-grandchildren enjoyed their big box of “garage sale” toys, a steady supply of Beanie Babies and exploring their unique rock collection during visits.
She is survived by her children, John & Becky (Chaney) Boston and Rusty and Jan Chaney; grandchildren Matt & Angie Boston, Zac & Leslie Kemp, Brandon & Casey (Chaney) Mote and Carley (Chaney) Moore; great-grandsons Henry Moore, Russell & Carson Mote, Ian, Ayden & Zane Kemp, and Braden & Gabe Boston, along with nieces Suzy Cannon, Nancy Suda, Nancy Burns and their families, nephews Tony English and Mark English and their families. She was preceded in death by her husband Topper Chaney, her parents, son-in-law Jim Grayson and infant granddaughters Molly & Maggie Boston and sisters Virginia Gilliam, Maxine Burns, Pauline Burroughs, Georgia Bates and Emmadean Torres.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials are made to Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children, 3800 North May Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 73112.