Floral 14

Dona (Faris) Knudsen

July 4, 1936 ~ April 16, 2022 (age 85)


Dona Jean (Faris) Knudsen of 90 Bee Ridge, Burnsville, North Carolina passed to her heavenly home on Saturday, April 16, 2022 while at Care Partners Solace Hospice in Asheville, North Carolina. Her loving and devoted husband of 27 years, Richard Knudsen, and other family members were by her side. Dona was born in San Marcos,Texas and she was the daughter of Ruth Ann (Eckols) Faris and William N. Faris.

Dona was a very caring person who loved the Lord deeply and was a Christian woman of great faith all her life, and was truly beloved by her family. She delighted in showing kindness to others and always putting others first. Even though she was visually impaired, Dona made many crocheted baby blankets and other gifts not only for family and friends, for her church’s baby outreach program, but also for people she met in all walks of life. She and her husband also sent yearly handmade Christmas gifts of appreciation and cookies to her friends at “Library for the Blind” because that organization so greatly enriched Dona’s life. Everyone who met Dona loved her and became her friend. Two of Dona’s other passions were the rescue of abandoned and shelter dogs, and caring for her beautiful orchids and African violets.

Dona was an Honor Graduate of Edison High School in Miami, Florida. She credited her loving stepfather, William O. Morris, with her early academic and personal success due to his great interest in her education and well-being. Dona further pursued her education by earning a Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice from Florida International University. Her career was centered in Miami where she became a highly respected Legal Secretary to prominent attorneys, several Circuit Court Judges, one Federal Judge, and an Assistant State Attorney. Dona was dedicated to her work and truly loved her career. She also sold real estate and taught continuing adult education. Upon her retirement and marriage to Richard Knudsen, she moved to her beloved new home outside Burnsville, NC. She will be sorely missed by everyone who knew her.

Dona is survived by her daughter: Cindy Lou (Henderson) Duvall of Hinesville, GA; and grandchildren, Melanie Denise Henderson, Joshua Wilson; and greatgrandchildren, Paisley and Toccoa Wilson; daughter, Lori Henderson Hires; grandchildren: Lorin Alexandria Rentz, Dane Garrison Hires, and Gage Redmond Hires, all of Woodstock, GA; daughter, Denise Lorene (Henderson) Zachritz and son-in-law Charles Zachritz of Lake Placid, FL; and grandson Charles Zachritz III, his wife Rosie and daughters Laurelle and Alissa, of Miami, FL.

Dona is also survived by her sister, Denisha Ann (Faris) Schukert and brother-in-law Mike Schukert of Palm Coast, FL; step-sister, Lorraine (Morris) Ritch and brother-in-law Marvin Ritch of Hiram, GA; and step-daughters, Carmen Kaplan of Boca Raton, FL, her daughter and three granddaughters; Wanda Bradshaw of Welcome, NC, her two sons and three grandsons; daughter and son of the late Beverly Smyth of Simi Valley, CA; and her dearest, loving friend Lori Famularo. Many other devoted cousins, dear friends, care givers, nieces, and nephews are deeply grieved at her passing.

A Celebration of her Life will follow at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to your local animal shelter or favorite charity in Dona’s memory.

Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home is respectfully serving the Knudsen family. 

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