Dona Eliza Wheeler
Born: August 22, 1918 in Moreland, Idaho
Died: May 21, 2013 in Burley, Idaho
Age: 94 years old
The funeral will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 25, at the Paul LDS Stake Center, 424 W. Ellis St., with a viewing an hour prior to the service. A viewing will also be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 24, at the Morrison-Payne Funeral Home, 321 E. Main St. in Burley. Burial is at noon Tuesday, May 28, at the Paul Cemetery.
Dona was raised and educated in Moreland, graduating from high school in 1936. She attended two years at the University of Idaho Southern Branch in Pocatello, earning a teaching certificate. In 1938, she taught second grade in Paul for two years. She married Bud W. Sanford in 1940 in the Salt Lake LDS Temple. They lived in Paul on the Sanford farm until they moved to Quincy, Wash., in 1960. She taught sixth and seventh grade at the Paul School and in Quincy, she taught junior high until 1967 when they moved to Mountain Home, Idaho. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in education at Central Washington State College in Ellensburg, Wash. She taught sixth grade at the Mountain Home Air Force Base until she retired in 1982.
Dona was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints where she served in Relief Society and Young Women. Music was an important part of her life, and she was a chorister and organist wherever she lived. When the Boise LDS Temple opened, Bud and Dona served for five years. She always had a flower and vegetable garden, but reading was her favorite pastime. She quilted blankets for all of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Bud and Dona enjoyed traveling in their fifth-wheel trailer across country and into Canada. They also visited Hawaii and Guatemala. Bud died in 1987 and in 1990, she married Ike Belnap, an old school friend. They lived summers in Moreland and winters in Quartzsite, Ariz. They served an LDS mission to Tulsa, Okla. Ike died in 2005 and she since then lived mostly with her daughter, Karla, in Pocatello and her granddaughter, Julie, in Burley.
Survivors include her children, Kent and Judy of Oakley, Kim and Sandy of Boise, Kaye and Dan Steffler of Nampa, and Karla and Dennis Alex of Pocatello; 16 grandchildren; many great-grandchildren; several great-great-grandchildren; sisters, Cherril (Jesse) Moses of Burley and Janis (J.R.) Willey of Springdale, Ark.; brother, Wilmer (Vada) Wheeler of Phoenix, Ariz.; and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husbands; brothers, Dean, Calvin and Larry; her parents; two grandchildren; a great-granddaughter; and a great-grandson.