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             Monday, January 13 2003  

Where are they now? Donna (Gamber) Salyards

Born March 16, 1935, to Raymond "Shorty" Gamber and Vada (Elliott) Gamber, Donna has two sisters; Shirley Rhoades, of State College, and Barbara Barr of Germantown, Maryland.

Donna's father is deceased, but her mother continues to enjoy good health and, though elderly, manages to live six months of the year in Florida and the remaining six months in Nanty Glo. "I had two wonderful parents who gave me a great foundation," says Donna.

Donna Gamber Salyards
high school photo    recent photo

A native of Nanty Glo, Donna is a 1954 graduate of Nanty Glo High School where, as the smallest girl in her senior class, she was known as "Shorty." Being small in stature may have been the reason she says remembering "Walking in snow up to my waist when I was in first grade!" She also remembers Mrs. Carlisle, her first grade teacher, holding her on her lap to get her warm after her "waist-deep snow" walks to school. Other fond school memories are of high school teacher Mario Creany. "He was such a great teacher," she says. "You could talk to him...and he listened!  He had a lot of patience when he was teaching us how to drive."

Donna's active and busy life has taken her from Nanty Glo to Colorado, where she received Practical Nurse training at the National Jewish Hospital in Denver, then on to Montana for a few years, and then back east to settle on Maryland's eastern shore.

The death of her husband, Roy Salyards, in 1998, ended a marriage union that began in 1966. Donna is the mother of three biologcal children, two of whom live in Maryland. Her son Charles lives in Preston; daughter Terri makes her home in Mardela Springs, and her daughter Karen lives in Seafort, Delaware. Her two step-children, Micky and Bobby, live in New Hampshire. Her blended family of five children have given her 13 grandchildren and some great-grandchildren "on the way." She has been a nurse, garment worker, secretary, and has been retired since 1987. 

Donna has spent her retirement years helping her children with their businesses and families.  "I also love to travel," she says.  "I just came home from a trip to Hawaii, and I'm planning a trip to Tennessee in April, and a trip  to Florida in May."

Donna currently lives in Herlock, Maryland, where she is active in the Hurlock Wesleyan Church, serving as a board member and music director.  "I stay very active in church and in the community," she says.  "I have a summer place in Fredericksburg, Virginia, where I spend a lot of time.  As long as the good Lord lets me keep active, I will do what I can in the church and community.  I owe my wonderful life to my Lord and Savior.  I accepted him when I was 14 years old and have been serving Him ever since.  What a wonderful feeling to know He is in my life.  There are times when I know I wouldn't have made it without Him."  

Donna extends her love of the gospel to the Internet.  "I'm into a Gospel Room on my computer where I've met Christian friends from all over the United States.  We play gospel music and praise the Lord," she says.

No unhappy memories of Nanty Glo for Donna.  "Nanty Glo was a very nice place to grow up in.  Everyone knew one another and looked out for you," she says.  "We had so much to do—the Teen Canteen under the firehall, dances, school activities, three movie theaters, and you could walk home anytime of the day or night and never think of any harm coming to you."

Anyone wishing to send greetings can find Donna at DjSal65@aol.com.


If you have a suggestion for a subject for Where Are They Now, please write Judy Rose.

Words to live by

There's two theories to arguing with a woman. Neither one works.

—Will Rogers
Sent by Sally Covolo

Thought for the day

The act of defending any of the cardinal virtues has today all the exhilaration of a vice.

—G. K. Chesterton
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