Mrs. Donna Lou Watts Powell, 66, of Valdese, passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, June 11, 2024 at Forsyth Medical Center.

Donna was born on October 11, 1957, in Trenton, NJ to Helen Chapman. She was a retired elementary school teacher, working at Valdese Elementary for 20 years, and more recently was employed at Graystone Eye as a patient representative.

Surviving are a tribe of people who miss her dearly. Her mother, Helen Chapman, will tell you Donna never met a stranger, even when she was 2 years old. Visit Helen at Grace Heights and you’ll be sure to hear the stories. Her husband, Scott, she loved with her whole being, and together they strived to grow in and share their love of Jesus. Together they raised three children, Grace Carroll (Ben) of Raleigh, Seth Powell (Elizabeth Corgan) of Raleigh, and MaryKate Hester (Tony) of Conover, who’d want you to know that her endless love for children and people did not stop at her own family.

She was a mother-figure, teacher, leader, and influence to many who knew and admired her. She’s known as “Gammy” to her six precious grandchildren: Nora Carroll, Adeline Powell, Emma Powell, Jackson Powell, Ryn Hester, and Auden Hester (on the way). Gammy was always sure to have their favorite snacks and rearranged her home to accommodate her growing family no less than 500 times. Donna was known as the “glue” and memory keeper among her closest friends and family. In her teaching career, she mentored others and challenged them to go above and beyond for their students, mostly by leading through example. In church life, she poured her heart into leading worship, volunteering with students, leading Bible studies; Sunday school, and offering support and counsel to those in need with steadfast prayer. Amongst her friends, she offered uncontrollable laughter, light in the dark times, and friendship more akin to that of family.

A Service of Remembrance will be held on Saturday, June 15, 2024, at 5:00 P.M. in the Chapel of Heritage Funeral Service, with Rev. Tim Kudeldt officiating.

The family will receive friends on Friday, from 5:00 until 7:00 P.M. at Heritage Funeral Service.

An online guestbook and obituary is available at

Heritage Funeral Service & Crematory of Valdese is assisting the Powell family.