Donna Carolyn Sallee Collins
Born in Bays, Kentucky on July 22, 1939, the fourth child of Claude and Ellis Sallee went home to be with our Lord on July 20, 2023, two days short of her 84th birthday. She grew up in Rousseau, Kentucky and graduated from Breathitt County High School in 1956 and attended Lees Junior College in Jackson, Ky and Chase Business College in Cincinnati, Ohio. She married the love of her life and high school sweetheart Dale Collins in June of 1957, and they spent the next 66 years together. They moved to Cincinnati, Ohio and later Florence, Kentucky where they began raising their girls, Diana and Denise. They moved to Carmel, Indiana in 1972. They joined Northside Baptist Church soon after the move and became dedicated church members. Donna sang in the choir, taught Sunday school, worked in the nursery and was the church wedding coordinator. She also coordinated and performed in the Indiana Christmas Pageant for many years. She and Dale were founding and current members of Lifepointe Church in Westfield. Donna began working for Carmel Clay Schools at College Wood Elementary. When Clay Junior High was built in 1974, Donna opened the bookstore where she was loved by many of the students and staff. In addition to her bookstore responsibilities, she provided a listening ear and plenty of food and treats, especially during the holidays, while developing friendships that lasted a lifetime. She retired in 1989 but was soon recruited to assist with operations at the Carmel High School bookstore where she continued to work part-time for several years. After retirement, she and Dale became snowbirds in Seagrove Beach, Florida where they spent the cold months for 28 years until 2021. She was active in Sea Grove Baptist Church in Florida and spent many hours along with Dale volunteering at the “Caring and Sharing” non-profit store. She loved having family and friends visit them at the beach. Being an amazing hostess was one of Donna’s many gifts. Anyone who visited her never left hungry or thirsty. She always went above and beyond to make guests feel comfortable. In 1985 she
became Nanny to her first grandchild. Seven grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren (her 11th great-grandchild will be born this fall) have all been blessed with her love and generosity. She attended so many performances and activities to support them. She made each of them feel special and shared her love of God with all of them as well.
She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2018. While this robbed her of many memories, she was still her cheerful loving self to the end. She enjoyed visitors and looking at photos and having family close by.
She was preceded in death by her mother and father, sister Fern Collins, Brother Claude Sallee, Jr. She is survived by her husband Dale, daughters Diana Nikou Dine (Bob), Denise Kelly Goens (Mike); sister Bess Marshall, brothers Sam Sallee (Evelyn) and Bobby Sallee (Betty); grandchildren Tom Kelly (Cassie) and, Kalliopi Nikou (Scott Dorton), Elizabeth McBride (Matt), Jack Kelly (Mistie), Bart Kelly (Mika), Will Kelly, and Casey Kelly; great-grandchildren Jude Kelly, Dana Kelly, Isabelle McBride, Bartholomew Kelly, Reger McBride, Adelaide McBride, Kennedy Kelly, Marzella McBride, Atlas McBride, and Leon Kelly. Her 11th Great-grandchild (a girl whose name only her parents and Donna know) will be born this fall, and several nieces, nephew, and cousins. Visitation will be Monday July 24 from 11am -1pm at Lifepointe Church in Westfield, Indiana. Celebration of life service will follow at 1pm. She will be buried in her family cemetery in Rousseau, Kentucky the following day. In lieu of flowers, family requests that donations be made to Lifepointe Church 3233 W 166th Street, Westfield, IN 46074 or Sallee-Minnix Cemetery Association 434 Lynnway Dr. Winchester, Ky. 40391.