Dona Kay Aronowitz passed away peacefully on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018, in Tomball, Texas.
She was born Jan. 10, 1954, to Arvle and Dona Lou Hix, in Dallas, Texas. She lived in Missouri, British Columbia, Canada, Dauphin Island, Ala., and Oklahoma, before attending eighth through 12th grades in Virginia. After high school, she attended the University of Texas and studied elementary education with an emphasis in early childhood and English. In college, Dona met her husband, Steve, through Young Life. They were married on July 12, 1975, in Fort Worth, Texas. They moved to Dallas, where Steve attended Dallas Theological Seminary and Dona taught public school kindergarten and Title 1 reading.
Dona and Steve relocated to Iowa in 1979, where they lived for 23 years raising their children and serving others through the church. In 1986, they moved from Hiawatha to Mount Vernon, Iowa, to start Community Bible Church and raise their family. Dona led Bible studies, mentored young moms, volunteered at her kids' school, took care of the household and was steadfast in her love and support of her husband. After spending 13 years working at home and raising her children, Dona became director of Holloway House Learning Center in Cedar Rapids, where she taught and ministered to families for eight years. Upon moving back to Texas in 2001, Dona started her own school called A to Z Learning Center, where she taught for 16 years and was known as Mrs. A to Z. She retired in 2018 after being diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease).
Dona's passion was teaching children to read using a phonics-based approach and teaching them about Jesus. She served as a loving, caring, firm teacher to the children and a mentor to the parents of her students. Dona had a special place in her heart for the moms of her students and loved investing in their lives. She always looked her best and treated others with warmth, love and hospitality that flowed from a heart that loved her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Dona loved teaching, but she always said her favorite job was being a mom. She loved her husband, children and their spouses, and her grandchildren dearly and always showed genuine interest in their lives. There was nothing Dona enjoyed more than sharing a meal, conversation and laughter with her family. Dona faced her diagnosis of ALS with a positive attitude and continued to be an encouragement to others even in the wake of her own significant physical challenges.
The family would like to extend heartfelt thanks to Rose of Texas Hospice and family friend and caregiver Staci Rea for their compassionate care for Dona.
Dona will be deeply missed by her loving husband of 43 years, Steve; and their children and grandchildren, John and Mollie Aronowitz, Leigh and Jack of Ames, Mark and Becca Aronowitz and Avery of Savannah, Ga., Amy and Doug Bear, Madeline and Eleanor of Ankeny, and Lisa and Andrew Selvadurai of Des Moines. She will also be missed by her father and his wife, Arvle and Pat Hix of Georgetown, Texas; her brother and wife, Robert and Lorri Hix of Waxahachie, Texas; her sister and husband, Gay Lynn and Larry McClurg of La Crescent, Minn.; her mother-in-law, Jean Aronowitz of Little Rock, Ark.; her sister in-law and husband, Anne and David Newell of Little Rock; 10 nieces and nephews; and countless other close family and friends.
Dona was preceded in death by her mother, Dona Lou Hix; her father-in-law, Marty Aronowitz; and her niece, Jeanie Newell.
Dona's family hosted a dessert reception in her honor from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19, at Tomball Bible Church Children's Ministry Center followed by a celebration of her life at 10:45 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, in the Tomball Bible Church Worship Center, 400 N. Walnut St., Tomball, TX 77375.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Tomball Bible Church Children's Ministry or to any children's literacy program.