NOVEMBER 27, 1942 – MAY 31, 2016
Donna Lee Mechling Hiserodt was born on Nov. 27, 1942 in Joliet, IL to Gladys Howlett Mechling and Donald Leroy Mechling. Donna slipped away peacefully at her home in Sugar Land, TX after her battle with CLL and AHA. Her daughters were by her side. Donna was preceded in death by her parents, Donald Leroy Mechling and Gladys Howlett Mechling Hale. She is survived by her daughters; Terri Lee Cagle (Jimi Cagle) and Elizabeth Dethloff (Robb Dethloff), as well as her grandsons; Dru Cagle and Braden Cagle, her cousins; Michelle Mechling and Mark Mechling and stepfather; Carleton Hale, Jr.
The daughter of a river boat captain, Donna developed her love of the water at an early age. The family moved to Paducah, KY where she spent time on the Ohio River as the family barge line expanded. By Donna’s 9th birthday, the family had settled in New Orleans where they stayed for the next 25 years. During those years she attended Mount Carmel Academy, Ridgewood Preparatory School, and finally graduated from Tulane University in 1964 with a BA in Sociology. She further developed her love of the water by spending time on her father’s towboats on the Mississippi River, as well as hours of youthful fun on Lake Ponchatrain. New Orleans is where Donna also cultivated her passion for food and cooking, which she is known for by so many of her friends.
While attending Ridgewood, Donna met Terry Joseph Hiserodt, who she later married in 1964. They moved to Clearlake, TX in 1965. During the 17 year union they were blessed with two daughters, Terri Lee and Elizabeth Marie. Donna dedicated the rest of her life to her daughters and was always there to support them in every way.
In 1976 the family moved to Missouri City, TX. It was during those years in Quail Valley, on Bonney Briar, that Donna started the next stage in her life. Donna was extremely outgoing, or as she would say, “gregarious.” Her neighbors quickly became her close friends, and many of those friendships stayed strong through her passing. She was baptized and confirmed in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in 1978, where her faith grew strong and her list of good friends even longer.
Donna was best known for her smile, her cooking, her gardening, and her generosity. Her home was always welcoming to the “stray” kids that her girls brought home, many of whom continued to visit long after Terri Lee and Liz had moved out on their own. The number of meals Donna prepared for family, friends, and church missionaries over the years are too numerous to consider. She enjoyed introducing new missionaries to Blue Bell homemade vanilla ice cream and her hot roast beef sandwiches. Her kitchen was always a comfortable place where you were likely to find any mix of friends.
Donna had a green thumb which she also liked to share. It was just as likely to see her rearranging landscaping in a neighbor’s yard as it was to see her working in her own. Whether it was cherry tomatoes growing under the pine tree out front, or beautiful white azaleas blooming down the driveway, living things always grew and thrived.
The last years of her life were filled with many physical challenges, including trigeminal neuralgia, multiple hip surgeries, and leukemia leading to hemolytic anemia. Although difficult, these obstacles gave her the opportunity to grow even closer to her family, moving to Sugar Land to be nearer to her daughters and grandsons, Dru and Braden.
Donna returned to her Heavenly Father on Tuesday, May 31, 2016. Her unforgettable personality will be missed by so many, but never forgotten.
A memorial service and reception was held, 10:30 am, Saturday, June 4, 2016 at Sugar Land Mortuary, located at 1818 Eldridge Rd., Sugar Land, TX 77478.
Flowers or donations to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society or the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society are welcomed.