Donnella Graves Simon was born in Mullins, South Carolina on April 23, 1939. She is preceded in death by her parents, Lawrence and Leona Graves, as well as four of her siblings, Walter James Graves, Shelby Peterson, Lawrence Graves, and Levone Graves. Donnella attended Zion South Carolina Elementary School. Since a young girl, Donnie, as she was affectionately called, has always been a very loving and caring person to all that knew her. Her kindness and loving spirit will forever be felt and never forgotten.
Donnie was a bright student, who excelled in math. In the eighth grade, she met the love of her life, Hoyett Paul Simon, who would later become her loving, dedicated, and supportive husband of sixty-two years. Shortly after graduating from Palmetto High School in 1957, they married and began their lives in New York. From this union two children were born: Sandra D. Simon and Yvette Simon Williamson.
Donnie gained employment with Independent News Company where she worked as a news clerk in the Circulation Department. Years later Donnie secured a position with Borenstein Catering where she remained for several years, making life long friends. In line with her love for children and caring for them, Donnie obtained a position with the New York City Board of Education where she remained until she retired. Just as with her other employers, Donnie always worked hard, excelled and made life long friends.
Anyone who met Donnie quickly learned how much she loved her family, especially her daughters and grandchildren. For many years, Donnie was the family seamstress, making pant suits, dresses and coats for her family. She also loved to cook and was especially known for the special birthday parties and family dinners. It really wasn’t a party if the cakes were not made and beautifully designed by Donnie. Everyone LOVED her cakes so much that she often had numerous cake requests, including from her daughter’s co-workers. Donnie’s favorite past time was shopping, as she would spend hours during the weekends looking for the latest fashions at her favorite store Macys. It was not uncommon to see her dressed in the finest, with coordinating accessories and heels.
During her years in New York, Donnie joined Calvary Baptist Church, where she remained a member until relocating back to Mullins and joining Saint Paul’s Baptist Church. On Friday, June 19, 2020, Donnie peacefully entered her eternal rest at home.
Donnie leaves a host of beloved family members to mourn in her passing: her husband, Hoyett Paul Simon; her children, Sandra D. Simon and Yvette Simon (Steven III) Williamson; her grandchildren: Hoyett Elliott (Nubia) Sharpe, Steven Williamson IV, and Autumn Williamson; her great grandchildren, Sydney Richardson and Caesar Sharpe; her siblings, Earnestine Woodard, Jesse Graves, and Yvonne (George) Davis; brother-in-law Walter Mack (Gloria) Simon and a very special brother-in-law Hubert Simon and his children, Linda Simon (Jerry) Henderson, Willette Simon, and Huey Javon Simon, and a host of nephews, nieces, and cousins that she loved dearly.
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