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Saturday, October 21, 2023
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Sunday, October 22, 2023
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Donna Lee Kom-Rayburn, 73, of Boise, passed peacefully at home on August 28, 2023 surrounded by loved ones after a short but fierce battle with Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
Donna was born to Billy and Evadna Stephens on October 21, 1949 in Boise, Idaho. She was the youngest of three girls until she got a baby brother when she was eight years old. She attended elementary school in Boise before graduating from Borah High School in 1968 where she was senior class treasurer, active in the pep club, ski club, and sang every Sunday with the First United Methodist Church choir. She was very social and involved with her classmates and maintained many of these childhood friendships until the end of her life. Donna was on the Borah HS reunion committee where she helped organize class reunions every 10 years. Donna went on to attend Boise State College for three years before getting married on October 20, 1972 and starting her family with her first husband, Richard (Dick) Kom. Together, they had four children who were the center of her world.
While raising her family, Donna did all the things a devoted mother does. She was a huge cheerleader for all of her kids’ sports teams, a classroom volunteer, taxi/bus driver, and was always happy to have the neighborhood kids hang out at her house on the weekends when she’d order pizza and serve popcorn with orange juice while playing board games. When her girls were in Girl Scouts, she would eagerly drive them all around the area to sell cookies in the spring. Her creative spirit was fed during Halloween season when she’d make the best costumes for her kids to wear to school. Donna was a great cook and hostess and would always make sure the holidays were magical for her kids. She rarely forgot a birthday and would always send a card and gift to her out-of-state grandkids. Donna especially loved watching and supporting her granddaughter Rowan in her musical and athletic endeavors around Boise.
Donna and Dick divorced in 1994, making Donna single for many years before meeting and marrying Jim Rayburn in 2008. Jim was an ideal partner for Donna. Together they enjoyed camping trips, hosting BSU football-watching parties, going to shows, traveling around Idaho, dining out with friends, playing pinochle at the senior center, and of course hosting friends at their home for food and games on a regular basis. Their two dogs, Murphy and Lola, were their constant companions. Donna was known for her love for gardening and had the most beautiful flower garden in all the neighborhood! She would work for hours planting and tending to her beloved flowers and even planted 300 bulbs one spring! Her yard was perfectly manicured and reflected her beauty.
Donna was active in many clubs and organizations throughout her life in Boise. She was part of the women’s singing group, “Sounds,” throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s. It was through Sounds that she met many of her lifelong friends while enjoying her love for singing and performing.
Later in life, Donna worked for St. Luke’s Hospital for over 20 years in various positions. It was there that she was able to deeply connect with the community and not only bump into old friends but make many new ones at the same time. She so enjoyed her time with St. Luke’s.
Over the years, she served her community by working for the Hawks Stadium, Meridian Speedway, and later volunteered for the Meridian Senior Center alongside Jim.
She especially loved her many circles of close friends, meeting regularly for meals out, potlucks, movies, plays, concerts, and other activities. These relationships were a highlight to Donna in her later years; she loved her friends fiercely. She had an incredible interest in her friends and their lives, loyally remembering small details in each of their lives.
To know Donna was to love Donna. Her friendly smile, sweet demeanor, silliness, and zest for life drew in strangers everywhere she went. She made friends with ease. She was always ready for a gathering and loved being with people. She deeply touched so many people during her life. Donna’s warm smile and easygoing personality will be deeply missed by so many.
Donna is preceded in death by her father Billy Stephens, mother Evadna Stephens and brother Danny Stephens.
Donna leaves behind husband Jim Rayburn of Boise, son Matthew (Michelle) Kom of Boise, daughters Amy (Philip) Kruse of South Dakota, Katie (Casey) Goold of Boise, and Sarah (Robert) Graves of Nampa. Grandchildren Rowan Betts; Joey and Lily Goold; Madison and Jaden Graves; and Katie, Jacob, and Russell Kruse. Her sisters Vickie Henkel of San Diego, CA and Judy Girard of Kalispell, MT; numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins throughout the US.
The family would like to extend their gratitude to St. Luke’s Hospital and First Choice Hospice for the top-notch, professional, and loving care Donna received in her last days. And a huge thank you to all the friends, family, and neighbors who delivered food, sent cards, brought flowers, prayed, and checked in on us during this sad time. Your kindness didn’t go unnoticed. Thank you, all.
Celebration of Life Service is planned for Saturday, October 21 (Donna's 74th Birthday) at Alden-Waggoner Funeral Chapel in Boise at 1 p.m.
A reception will be held Sunday, October 22, 2023 in the Waterfront Room at the Meridian Senior Center at 3 p.m.