Obituaries – 09-18-2019

Donna Virginia Harris

Donna Virginia Harris, age 66, of Holmes Beach, died Sept. 10 after a valiant struggle with cancer. She was born Sept.. 17, 1952.

A born educator, Donna taught at the Indiana School for the Deaf in Indianapolis for many years, worked as an American Sign Language interpreter, and taught ASL and writing courses at the University of South Florida in Sarasota.

She received the high honor in 1991 of being named one of President George H.W. Bush’s Daily Point of Light for creating the nation’s first statewide deaf literacy program in Indiana.

After relocating to Florida, Ms. Harris established and ran the Brain Gym bookstore in Holmes Beach 1993-96.

Her zest for life continued into her retirement as she spent her days reading, writing, and enjoying the people and lifestyle of Anna Maria Island.

The island community inspired her to write a novel about island life entitled, “Ruff Life.” Her love of connection and conversation, seemingly fearless nature and gentle manner are qualities we will all miss.

Memorial donations may be made to Wildlife Inc., P.O. Box 1449, Anna Maria FL 34216.

Ms. Harris is survived by her loving husband, Brian Northam; son David Northam and wife Marissa of Terre Haute, Indiana; daughter Sabra Northam of Indianapolis; grandchildren Maridian, Hudson, and Hollis; niece/daughter Anya Nyson of Grand Rapids, Michigan; and siblings, in-laws, nieces, nephews and many friends who became family.

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