Donna Carole Kishbaugh (Waters), born in Sheridan, passed away on Monday, Oct. 12, 2020.
She attended Sheridan High School, where she edited an underground newspaper and was an assistant to the boys’ wrestling team, she became the first female in school history to ‘letter’ in a boys sport.
She was the first member of her family to attend college, graduating from Indiana University, where she pursued her dream of ballet dancing. Sidelined by injury, she would follow another life-long passion and receive her degree in theater, with a minor in anthropology.
She went on to earn her Master’s degree from Columbia College in Chicago, where she met her future husband Greg.
She worked in advertising in Chicago before moving back to Indiana, where she raised her young family. There she built her art business, The Art of Donna, in which she designed artwork for many celebrity clients, participated in New York Fashion Week, and became a staple at numerous cons.
She was an avid traveler and lover of different cultures. She was a vegan who strongly supported all causes that honored and protected animals. (In her house, spiders were carefully carried outside so they would not be harmed). She was a space enthusiast, and an avid lover of art, literature and music. She loved fashion, especially shoes and long, hot baths, which she turned into works of art every night with a variety of specialized bath bombs. She was a firm advocate for equality for all people.
Never one to settle for a second, she returned to Columbia College last year, completed her thesis and was awarded her Masters of Fine Arts degree. Next, she was planning to study for her doctorate and to publish her thesis as a collection of short stories.
She worked as a college professor, teaching English, theater and writing. She was beloved by her students, many of whom described her as the first instructor they felt ever really cared about them.
She was a masterful marketer, working with film director Guillermo del Toro, as well as editing, planning and promoting all of her husband’s work. She was on the Board of Directors for The Center for Ray Bradbury Studies at IUPUI, and she and her husband had recently formed their own publishing company.
She was a loving and beloved wife, mother, sister and daughter. Mrs. Kishbaugh passed away as she lived, always seeking another level of success, always pushing herself to learn and experience more. She was a beloved and close friend to thousands of people, many of whom turned to her for comfort and support. But mostly, she served as inspiration. She was kind, thoughtful, selfless, funny, brilliant and never turned her back on anyone who needed her help, even if they were complete strangers.
Survivors include her husband Greg; son Dagan; daughter Bronwyn; her mother Carole Christy; two brothers, Darryl Waters and Darren Christy; and countless other aunts and cousins.
A memorial service is scheduled on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020 at 2 p.m. at Kercheval Funeral Home, 306 E. 10th St. in Sheridan. Family and friends may pay their respects following the service.
Memorial donations may be made to the Humane Society in her name.