Let the memory of Donna be with us forever.
  • 70 years old
  • Born on October 10, 1948 in Washington, North Carolina, United States.
  • Passed away on March 20, 2019 in Morrisville, North Carolina, United States.

Donna Reel Powers, age 70, passed away on March 20, 2019.   She was born October 10, 1948 to the late Ola Kincy and Dorothy Boyd Reel.  Her early years were spent in Eastern NC and she was a 1966 graduate of Grifton High School.  She lived in Japan for a year and later met and married her soulmate, Richard Powers, who preceded her in death.  They lived many years in Charlotte prior to moving to Jacksonville, Fla, Wilmington, Cary and retiring to a waterfront community near Beaufort NC.  Donna moved to Morrisville, NC in 2012 to be near her grandkids.

Donna’s early career choices included administration, legal and real estate.  She later graduated from Mercy School of Nursing in Charlotte and eventually found her “niche” in clinical research.  

She lived life to the fullest checking off every item on her bucket list from traveling both domestically and abroad to running a 10k, mastering a ski slope in Aspen, learning to sail and water ski and landing the largest fish in a river competition.  However, nothing was as meaningful to her as spending time with her family and friends. She was a devoted mother to Courtney and Chas, a kind and generous sister, aunt and friend; and the world’s best “Gigi” to her grandson, Jaxson and granddaughter, Bella.  She was the one cheering the loudest at Jaxson’s ice hockey games and clapping the most vigorously at Bella’s theatrical performances. She also enjoyed being a Gigi to Jaxson and Bella’s cousins, Skylar and Ava, and developed a close family relationship with their parents Michael and Ryann Riggs and grandparents Jim and JoAnne Verska after they relocated to Apex from Detroit.

A member of First United Methodist Church in Cary, Donna actively participated in the Wisdom Sunday School Class where she was called to community service and blessed with many enduring friendships.  

In addition to her husbands, Charles Parisher and Richard Powers, and parents, Donna was preceded in death by her brother, Kincy Madison Reel and step daughter, Michelle Powers.  She is survived by a son, Chas Parisher and wife Jill of Owens Mills,MD, daughter Courtney and husband Zachary Verska of Cary, NC; stepdaughters Judy and Lisa Powers of Morehead City, grandchildren Isabella and Jaxson Verska; step grandchildren, Jennifer McCauley and Jessie Rose; three step great grandchildren; sisters, Ann Jackson and husband Allan of Ayden, NC, Hilda Everett and brother Tommy Reel and wife Janie of Greenville, NC; and her dear friends Margaret Foley and Linda Norton.  

Donna’s family acknowledge and thank Murat Arcosoy, M.D. and Erin O’Branski , P.A.  of Duke Oncology for the compassionate medical care she received for over ten years that can only be described as amazing; Duke Homecare and Hospice staff, Dr. Amrita Parikh-Desai of WakeMed, the FUMC Wisdom Sunday School and especially Donna’s sister and stem cell donor,Hilda Everett, for the loving support and personal care given in the last stages of her journey.  Friends and family are welcome to attend a celebration of Donna’s life at First United Methodist Church Cary at 117 S Academy St, Cary, NC 27511 on Monday, March 25th at 1:00 pm with a coffee/dessert reception following the service.

Contributions in Donna’s memory may be made to MPN Research Foundation, 180 N Michigan Avenue, Suite 1870, Chicago, Il 60601 or through their website www.mpnresearchfoundation.org.


Posted by Nancy Willos on March 26, 2019
I found Donna's obituary this morning. I am sad Donna has left us, she was so genuine and fun to be with each time we got together, even in her last days. I'm pleased to know she is with her Lord and Savior and no longer with sickness. We'll all be together one day, until then I shall hear your laugh each day. God's strength wished for the family. Cherish your memories!
Posted by Patricia Buchanan on March 22, 2019
Donna was my friend and chosen sister. The laughter and tears we shared, the memories we created are so precious to me now. Miss her more than words can express. Donna was an amazing example of strength and courage, choosing to live life fully. She certainly didn't let illness dictate the kind of person she was nor allow it to diminish her joy. She was genuine, honest and caring and I was blessed to call her my friend. Rest in peace dear friend.
Posted by Jennifer Newman McCauley on March 22, 2019
Donna words cannot describe how much you have helped me throughout my life. You and Grandpa showed me a different world outside of my life. You opened your arms to me even when I was difficult and you showered me with love. You were tough and didn't let me get away with things and I appreciate you for that. You saved me when no one else would and because of you I am the nurse I am today. I owe you so much and will miss you dearly. You have always been an inspiration to me and so many and your voice will continue to guide me in life. We are all heartbroken down here and so sorry we did not get to see you before you left us. I am glad you are with Grandpa again and no longer in pain. I love you, Donna.
Posted by Judith Powers on March 22, 2019
I'll always remember Donna for her kindness and thoughtfulness. She had a wonderful sense of fun and even when she was having a bad period during her illness she kept such a positive outlook. She was a very strong woman. Times spent with her and my Dad are some of my most treasured memories. I like to think that they have reunited and happily continue on in a realm of timeless peace and beauty. Richard still brings you coffee in bed every morning and every time you cast a line you always catch a big fish. Rest in peace dear Donna.
Posted by Linda Norton on March 22, 2019
Donna and I met at training class at PPD in 1993. We became instant friends and shared many memorable moments over the years. She was a fighter and never gave up and did not let her illness stop her from enjoying life. She brought much happiness in my life as well as to many others. Her life made a difference in my life, and I will be forever grateful for her treasured friendship. She loved her Lord and knew where she was going. I will see you when I get there Donna and will miss your smiling face and will forever love you. Until then!!!
Posted by Nancy Merrick on March 21, 2019
I will really miss Donna. We had many good times with our Symphony Ladies bunch and our lunches afterwards. And many good conversations on our carpools to the concerts! She never let her illness stop her and like a phoenix would always rise again after a brief setback. I was lucky to have known her. Good bye sweet friend.

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