Mildred Lorene Donham Teets, 96, of Aurora, WV and Jefferson City, TN, died peacefully on November 6, 2020, at the family farm in West Virginia. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 72 years, Hancell (Jake) Teets, who died in 2014. Mildred and Jake were true partners from the time they married in 1941, working diligently to pay off the farm that had been purchased in 1907 by Jake’s grandfather, and then continuing to build one of the finest dairy herds in West Virginia. Both loved the land and were committed to conservation, and both served in leadership roles in the Monongahela Soil Conservation District and the West Virginia Resources Conservation and Development Council.
Mildred was known for her creativity, having designed and made clothing both for family members and others in the community. Mildred and Jake continued to partner in Mildred’s Green Valley Ceramics business where Mildred taught classes to hundreds of people from a large surrounding area. Mildred was widely respected for her broad array of interests and activities, ranging from medical and veterinary knowledge to artistic expression, construction design, financial acuity, and administration of farm and dairy operations. In recent years, Mildred crocheted avidly, making afghans and prayer shawls for more than a hundred people.
Mildred was an active member of the Aurora Methodist Church, the Maple Spring Church of the Brethren, and the Shady Grove United Methodist Church when they lived in Winston-Salem, NC, during the winter months. Although not an active participant of St. James Episcopal Church in Knoxville, TN, she inspired many by her children’s prayer shawl ministry. Mildred was a lifelong learner, especially as an active participant in homemakers’ clubs in both WV and NC and as a student in advanced ceramics courses, earning certifications in multiple areas of the craft.
Mildred cherished her family, and among her great joys in life were her daughters’ choices of spouses—she loved Ronald Kepple and Michael Scott Teets as passionately as she loved her own daughters. She was deeply saddened by the long illness and death in 2015 of her daughter Judy. As the oldest daughter of Walter and Virginia Donham, she was saddened by the deaths of her younger siblings, Grace Knotts Winter (Gerald, surviving), Lawrence Donham (Peggy) and Harley Donham (Regina, surviving). She is survived by her youngest sister, Alma Donham Snyder (Jackie Eugene). She is also survived by her daughter Sharon and husband Michael Scott, with whom she lived since 2017 during the winter months in Jefferson City, TN, with all three spending summers on the farm. Other surviving family members include Ronald Kepple of Shepherdstown, WV, Judy’s husband, and his friend Sally Kelley of Hagerstown, MD. Surviving grandchildren include Mark Ashton Kepple (Lisa) of Wheeling, WV, and Jill Kepple Lutz (Andy) of Richmond, VA. Mildred delighted in the ongoing accomplishments of her great-grandchildren, including Ashton and Juliana Kepple of Wheeling, and Claire and Charlotte Lutz of Richmond, VA. She leaves behind many caring extended family members, neighbors, friends, and Facebook followers in multiple states.
In view of the pandemic, there will be no receiving of friends, but a viewing is offered on Wednesday, November 11, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Hinkle-Fenner Funeral Home in Davis, WV. A public graveside service will be held at the Aurora, WV Cemetery on November 12 at 11:00 a.m. A private family service will be held on Sunday, November 15. Masks and social distancing practices will be used for all events. In lieu of flowers, please contact cherished friends, families, and neighbors while the pandemic continues and spend time with them when interactions become safe again, or donate to your favorite charity. The family especially appreciates the care of medical personnel in West Virginia, Maryland, and Tennessee, with special thanks to the Union Ambulance Squad who provided services for many years, as well as Amedisys Hospice and Home Health Care Services in WV and TN.
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