Donna McCoy Sutton, a resident of Holiday Island, ended her wild ride through life on Sept. 1, surrounded by her husband and friends who kept vigil during the final days of her illness before she returned to the one she called "Pops."
"She lived life large and packed a lot into it," said Brian Sutton, her husband of nine years. "She did a lot of things that other people only think about."
Born July 21, 1958 in Bossier City, La., a daughter of the military, Donna grew, as so many children of military families do, to become a citizen of the world. Raised in Minden, La., and later Dallas, Donna was a "graduate of the school of hard knocks" as well as its class president, according to her husband. Among her careers were waitressing, party planning, travel agent and real estate sales.
On April 21, 2000, Donna wed Brian Sutton at sunset at White Rock Lake in Dallas, following a two-year romance. Donna was known for her joi d'vivre and talent for organizing fun for her large cadre of compadres.
"She was the cruise director; she enjoyed directing traffic," Brian said.
Donna and Brian moved to Holiday Island five years ago, where Donna resumed her real estate career and became involved in causes dear to her, such as arts education for children after school, attending to the needy and caring for animals.
Beside party planning and holiday hostessing, Donna enjoyed scuba diving and travel. Brian said she loved to drag him off the beaten path, and they explored many lands not as tourists but "as the natives do."
"Like many military brats," he added, "she was hard to tie down. One of our friends said of her, 'You can't take Donna anywhere that she doesn't know somebody there.' Sure enough, once we went to Mexico and got off the plane and I'll be damned if she didn't see somebody she knew there."
Brian says that Donna taught him about the "power of now," the force she found irresistible that bade her to live in the moment. "She lived life in a rather intuitive way," he said, "whereas a person like me is very calculating. Donna taught me to be more spontaneous."
Survivors include her beloved spouse, Brian Sutton, and their cat Ruby; one brother, Shawn McCoy of Colorado; and one sister, Colleen McCoy of Dallas. She was preceded in death by a brother, Daniel McCoy, in 1986.
There are no services scheduled at this time. Memorial donations may be made to Main Stage, 67 N. Main St., Eureka Springs, AR 72632 or Flint Street Fellowship Food Bank, 33 N. Main St., Eureka Springs, AR 72632. Online condolences may be sent to the family at nelsonfuneral.com.