Donna Lee Arnold Elmore

Donna Lee Arnold Elmore

Donna Lee Arnold Elmore was born on Sept. 2, 1934 to Cecil and Gladys Zellner Arnold in Lone Grove, Okla. She made it “home” on Oct. 24, 2020.

All who knew Donna knew that she loved unconditionally, with open arms. Spoiling grandchildren and great-grandchildren was one of her specialties. Quality time was Donna’s overwhelming love language, she loved to be surrounded by those she loved, and to spoil them any way she could. While she lived life to the fullest for her family and her pets, she loved the Lord. Her last words to her husband were that she loved God, her family, her kids, her grandkids and great-grandkids (the basketball player and pony girl).

Donna grew up in Springer, where she attended grade school. One of her classmates would later become her husband of 67 years, Jerry Elmore. Jerry fell in love with Donna when he was 12, and they went on to attend Oklahoma State University together and later ran off to get married instead of focusing on their studies. Donna and Jerry loved to travel and be on the water whenever possible, whether soaking up the sun or reeling in numerous fish (Donna always took top prize). Donna taught her granddaughters how to bait a hook and take the fish off the hook … so they would be able to handle their boyfriends’ problems in the future.

As the oilfield called Jerry in many directions, Donna made a home for the family in Perryton, Texas; Woodward, Okla., and eventually back in Ardmore. Even then, they ran many businesses including a Frac Tank business out of Lone Grove and drilling operations in Oklahoma and Texas. She even held the Vice President at Frontier Frac Tanks Inc. in Marshall, Texas for a period of time.

Donna never shied away from hard work. From Uniroyal, and the many independent oilfield businesses, to co-owner of Sanford’s Restaurant at Lake Texoma, she worked tirelessly right alongside Jerry. (Sanford’s and Donna’s encouragement and grandmotherly advice inspired the granddaughters to be hostesses, waitresses and gracious customer service, at the ages of 2 and 7!) The two built many successful businesses over the years before retiring at Lake Texoma and eventually moved back to Ardmore in 2015.

She would probably say she left behind her precious kitties, and that she will meet Keisha and Casey in heaven (the keeshonds that she loved so dearly).

Donna is preceded in death by her parents; son, David Ray Elmore and infant daughter, Carol Lynn Elmore. She is survived by her husband, Jerry Elmore; son, Rick Elmore of Ardmore; sister, Linda Ayers of Ardmore; brother, Cecil Andy Arnold of Ardmore; grandchildren, Lauren (Dominique) Scales and great-grandson, Oaklyn Scales of McKinney, Texas, Jordan (Justin) Kingsley and great-granddaughter, Jensen Kingsley of Skiatook, Okla., and numerous nieces and nephews.

Serving as Pallbearers will be Mike Ayers, Jason Ayers, Jacob Ayers, Brad Elmore, Justin Kingsley, and Dominique Scales. Honorary Pallbearer will be Shane Ayers.

Services will be held at the Craddock Memorial Chapel at 2 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 30, with Rev. Ron Elmore. Interment will be at Rose Hill Cemetery immediately following the services. Viewing will be come and go Thursday 8 a.m.–9 p.m. There will not be a reception following the service as to make sure we’re keeping everyone safe and healthy.

Physical distancing will be practiced, and we ask that you wear a mask upon entry and during the service.

The family suggests memoriams to honor Donna be made to Ardmore Animal Shelter in lieu of flowers.

Online condolences may be made at

Posted online on October 28, 2020