Servant of the Heart

First Presbyterian Church Beaufort Servant of the Heart


Donna Lee Sheetz was born in Oxford, Pennsylvania, a small town surrounded by farms and beautiful rolling hills. She is the youngest daughter and anyone knowing Donna would not be surprised to hear she was the one to take charge of her sisters, Beryl and Janie. Her parents stressed the importance of being thoughtful to others and if a job was taken commit to it! Her father was firm in his beliefs of what girls should and shouldn't do. Unlike her sisters, Donna challenged her father, questioning why.

After high school Donna worked with mentally handicapped children until she married her first husband, Ted. After marriage, she was a stay at home mom to daughters Marni who lives in Greenbelt, Maryland and Melissa, who lives in Enola, Pennsylvania. Their home always had an open door welcoming their girls' friends and six exchange students. Donna was busy volunteering. She served and volunteered with: Girl Scouts as a leader, Freedom Valley GS Council, girls after school softball organizer and coach, PTA, Library Board Director, United Way, and Contemporary Club. Also an interesting fact, Donna was the first woman appointed to their county Draft Board by the Selective Service. In 1990 her husband passed from a heart attack. That year Donna moved to their guest apartments in Cape May, New Jersey where she worked as an Inn Sitter and in a linen outlet, trying to decide what to do with her life. She became a Real Estate Agent and settled into life in Cape May. In 1993 she got a call that would change her life! It was Steve, her high school crush, and the rest is history. She moved to West Chester where Steve lived, and eventually they got married. Now she not only has two daughters, but a loving husband and two bonus children, Steve and Diane and 12 beautiful grandchildren.

In 2003 Donna and Steve retired to their guest apartments in Cape May but still had a sense there was something else in their lives. Steve was returning from a trip south when on a whim decided to check out Beaufort. He called Donna and said "I found it, this is the place!" Donna doesn't think it was a whim but instead God was giving the directions that day. In 2010, they moved to beautiful Beaufort.

As a child Donna attended the Methodist Church but soon realized she was a Presbyterian. Before moving to Beaufort, Donna visited FPC and immediately felt at home. Donna tells the story that she had a church before she had a house in Beaufort. At First Presbyterian, Donna is chairman of the Visitation Mission, and serves on the Membership Committee. She served as the PW Mission Coordinator, TNT circle leader and is Vice Moderator of the Presbyterian Women. She is a former Deacon and choir member. She is a bell ringer and Wedding Coordinator. Along with a few other Presbyterian Women, Donna is in charge of the Nativity Celebration. If that is not enough dedication to our church, add the hundreds of hours Donna has spent making delicious homemade goodies for our children's missions and other church activities.

When asked what she likes most about our church, she is quick to answer: "The warmth and caring of our congregation and the 'Dynamic Duo' that leads us." She loves seeing the church growth especially young families and the beautiful children. Donna is most proud of our positive outreaching and her vision is for continued growth and mission outreach within and beyond our walls. The 23rd Psalm is her favorite for many reasons. She remembers her favorite Sunday School teacher making sure she understood the meaning not just memorizing it. "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want." Each verse gives US hope. This Psalm was once called the minstrel song, and as such has sung hope into the hopeless, strength to the weak, and courage into the army of the disappointed. The message is not for the end of life alone, but for every step of our journey in this life God has blessed us with.

Donna's inspiration comes from people, people of all ages, people she knows and have never met. People and the wonderful things they do truly inspire and challenge her to become a better person. Her proudest achievement is her two beautiful, loving, hardworking and compassionate daughters. Donna is filled with gratitude and love for them. Her favorite memory growing up was being fortunate to live across the street from her maternal grandparents. She felt like the luckiest of the seventeen grandchildren because she saw her grandmother every day. She learned so much from watching her grandmother and says to this day, 11 1 still think there is only one way to hang laundry on the line." Donna has learned that all of our experiences in life, whether good or bad have a positive lesson to be learned. Both can make us a better person if only we open our eyes and see God's plan for us.

Donna, we thank you for your devotion to this church and our Lord and Savior.  You are truly a Servant of the Heart!



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