E. Anita “Susie” (Berk) Doncaster, 78, passed on to her heavenly home with a smile on her face on May 9, 2019 at her house in Yakima after a valiant battle with brain cancer.
Anita was the ninth child born to Louis and Rose (Koss) Berk in Sunnyside on January 13, 1941. Susie was the name her siblings called her from birth, and it became her family nickname for the rest of her life.
Sunnyside was her home and she accepted Jesus Christ as her savior as a child. Her life was full of activities on the family farm and full of laughter. She graduated from Sunnyside High School in 1959 with honors, and she was the first in her family to attend college. She graduated from Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in elementary education.
She married the love of her life, William “Bill” Doncaster on Nov. 26, 1966 in Sunnyside. After teaching in several cities in Washington State, they settled in Yakima where she made her home for 49 years.
In 1973, they were blessed with a son Kelsey James Doncaster.
Anita was an educator at heart who taught for 29 years of which nearly all of them were teaching kindergarten. She was kind and caring teacher who provided an enriching program in which children could learn. She earned the Golden Acorn Award in 1992 for her work in the West Valley School District.
She loved to travel. In 1966, she toured Europe through Temple University. She and Bill took many trips around the United States by car, boat and train. She shared her love of learning, entertaining, history and Americana with her son, and later her daughter-in-law and grandchildren. They often found her outside in her yard, listening to the radio, weeding, and tending her flowers and shrubs.
She loved to shop and decorate her house for every holiday and season. She was so blessed by her son, daughter-in-law Karla, and loved her grandchildren so very much.
Anita is survived by her dear husband, Bill Doncaster; her son Kelsey (Karla) Doncaster; and her three grandchildren: Millicent, Violet and Lillian Doncaster, all of Yakima.
She is preceded in death by her parents and her sister Mercedes Dormaier, brothers Delbert Berk, Dick Berk, Wendell Berk and Harland “Skip” Berk, along with some dear sisters-in-law. She is dearly missed by her loved ones, who celebrate the fact that she is at peace with her Creator.
A family graveside service will be at 10 a.m., Friday, May 17, 2019 at Lower Valley Memorial Gardens in Sunnyside. A memorial service will follow that afternoon at 3 p.m. at the Stone Church in Yakima.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Union Gospel Mission, Stone Church Missions, Life Choices or a charity of your choice. Those wishing to sign Anita’s online memorial book may do so at www.funeralhomesmith.com.
Smith Funeral Homes is in care of arrangements.