Donna Barbara (Helmers) White
Donna Barbara (Helmers) White, longtime resident of Colorado Springs, died the evening of Friday, June 8, 2012, after a short and courageous battle with brain cancer. She was 72. Donna died peacefully at Liberty Heights Nursing Home with her entire family at her side. Though she is gone from this Earth, she is forever in our hearts, and our souls are lighter knowing she is no longer suffering and is in a better place.
Donna was born October 10, 1939, in Santa Barbara, California, to Theresa and Dow Helmers. Her family relocated to Pueblo, Colorado, when she was 4. She graduated from Pueblo Catholic High and worked for the law firm of Phelps Fonda and Hayes until she married Col. (Ret.) Robert Peter White shortly after his graduation from the United States Air Force Academy in 1961. Robert preceded her in death by 18 months after battling lung cancer. She was also predeceased by her father, Dow, and by her husband’s parents, Helen and Chet Piecscza. Donna’s memory will always be cherished by her mother, Theresa Helmers, two sisters and good friends Kathy Schneider (Gary Schneider) of Colorado Springs and Margie Strescino (Peter Strescino) of Pueblo, her two children Laurie White (Coleman Nemerov) of Corcoran, Minnesota, and Daniel White (Bonnie White) of Boulder, Colorado, her two grandchildren Benjamin and Caroline White and her nieces and nephews Bevin, Geoffrey, Justen, Michael and Melanie.
Throughout their lives together Robert and Donna traveled the world living in Oklahoma, New York, Japan, Okinawa, Virginia, and Germany. Colorado Springs was Donna’s permanent residence for more than 30 years. Donna received a bachelor’s of arts from Pueblo Junior College and a bachelor’s of science from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. After raising her children, she had a long career as a computer programmer for Current in Colorado Springs. She was passionate about breeding and showing Akitas where she achieved national acclaim after founding White-Eagle Akitas with her husband. Together they bred numerous championship dogs and in the process made countless friends across the country. She will be remembered for her strength and her sense of humor, which remained until the end.
Donna will be interred with her husband, Robert, at the United States Air Force Academy after a private funeral mass. The family requests donations be made in lieu of flowers to her preferred charities: Akita Rescue of Western New York (or to Akita Club of America Rescue fund) or the American Cancer Society.