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Donna Lyerla


Donna Lee (Alderman) Lyerla, Age 91, of Pittsburg, KS, passed away on Thursday, February 8th, at Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg, KS.

She was born on Jan 17, 1933, at home in Coffeyville, KS, the daughter of George Henry (Hank) Alderman and Ella Mae (Hendricks) Alderman.

Born during the hardship of the 1930s, Donna embodied the values of frugality and resourcefulness instilled by the Great Depression. She was a serious and dedicated student, investing tremendous effort into her education. Alongside her academic pursuits, she found joy in dancing and playing the piano, showcasing her talent and passion from an early age.

During her teenage years, Donna worked as a curb hop at the local diner, embracing the opportunity to earn and contribute to her family's well-being.

The trajectory of Donna's life took a remarkable turn when she embarked on a military voyage across the Atlantic with her husband, who was serving in the Army. During this voyage, she enchanted everyone with her tap dance routine to the lively tune of "Harrigan," leaving an indelible impression on all those who witnessed her performance as she ended it with the splits!

While stationed overseas, Donna embraced a civil service clerical job, contributing her skills and dedication to support the mission.

Later as a devoted mother, she chose to stay at home to raise her two children, served as church pianist and organist, and volunteered as a scout leader.

Her passion for music and teaching flourished when she established the renowned 'Lyerla Music Studio.' For four decades, she cultivated young talents, sharing her knowledge and inspiring generations of students. She had been a member of the singing group 'Sweet Adelines', and also for many years directed the bell choir 'Belles of the Bells'. Her dedication to her craft was unwavering, evident in her pursuit of a master's degree in organ performance, which she nearly completed.

Throughout her life, Donna exemplified resilience, hard work, and a commitment to excellence.

Donna was preceded in death by her husband, Floyd Byerl Lyerla; parents: George Henry (Hank) Alderman and Ella Mae (Hendricks) Alderman of Pittsburg, KS; brother, Bill Arnold Alderman of Broken Arrow, OK; and nephew Michael Shawn Alderman of Owasso, OK.

She is survived by one daughter, Kellye Lynn (Lyerla) Perkins, and husband, Richard Allen Perkins, of Glendale, AZ; and one son, William Brett Lyerla and his wife, Kristi Michelle (Bramell) Lyerla, of Webb City, MO.

She leaves four grandchildren, Allen Franklin Perkins and his wife, Miranda Irene (Denson) Perkins, of Billings, MT, Bryan Lee Perkins and his wife, Sharon Kaye (Lewis) Perkins, of Prestonsburg, KY, Brandon Todd Lyerla, US Navy Camp Pendleton, CA, and Connor David Lyerla and his wife Mackenzie Bianca (Shikles) Lyerla of Carl Junction, MO. Donna has six great-granddaughters, Catelynn Irene Perkins, of Billings, MT, Kaylee Madison Perkins, Alyssa Riley Perkins, and Zoey Skye Perkins of Prestonsburg, KY; and Adalee Jane and Haven Marie Lyerla of Carl Junction, MO. Donna has 2 great-grandsons, Kaeson Allen and Rylan James Perkins of Billings, MT.

She is also survived by sister-in-law Bertha Jenan (England) Alderman of Chelsea OK and nephew Bill Arnold Alderman, Jr of Chelsea, OK. Also, grandnephew Kameron Lee Alderman of Abilene, TX, and grandnieces Jessica Kylie Alderman of Chelsea, OK, and Hannah Michelle Alderman of New York, NY.

Donna was a Christian and she and Floyd were members of the First Church of the Nazarene, Pittsburg, KS. She will be cremated, and a memorial celebration of her life will be held on Saturday, March 30, at 10:00 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church, Pittsburg, KS. Light refreshments and visitation time will follow the service. Condolences can be made online at www.parkermortuary.com, or sent to 109 East Williams, Pittsburg, KS.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to any of Donna's favorite charities and organizations: The First Church of the Nazarene, St. Jude's Children's Hospital, The National Museum of the United States Army, Belvoir, WA, or The Crawford County Historical Museum.