Joe Danna Honors Deceased Wife Donna with new Endowment Fund for Children

Donna Danna with her daughter Kailey Rose Danna

You may remember that on Thursday, August 27, Donna Danna, wife of Harris County Deputy Joe Danna, passed away from a massive heart attack. Donna began working with students with intellectual disabilities when she was in high school at Sam Rayburn, where she graduated in 1972. 

That same year, she married her high-school sweetheart Joe Danna and was the proud wife of a law enforcement officer. They soon had two daughters, Jill, and Monica, and in 2008, Joe and Donna were called to step in as guardians of two-month-old Kailey Rose, eventually becoming her adoptive parents. This started a new chapter that would enrich the lives of the entire Danna household.

She went on to co-found the first after-school program at St. Ambrose Catholic School and spent decades as a kindergarten assistant at several schools including St. Michael School, Briargrove Elementary, and St. Rose of Lima School

“Donna spent over half of her life working with kids,” Joe said. “It was her passion and life’s calling. Even after she retired, she spent countless hours volunteering at her daughters schools. She literally spent thousands of hours working with kids.

Donna Danna with her grandson River

“We thought that the best way to honor her life and memory was to set up an endowment fund to help a family in need to pay for their tuition. So, we started the Donna Danna Student Scholarship Fund, which will annually benefit a St. Ambrose School family, Joe stated.

Her family is planning a private, family-only liturgy service at their church, St. Ambrose. In addition, details will follow for a Celebration of Donna’s Life later in 2020, where the family will welcome her many friends and extended family to celebrate her incredible life.

The Danna family requests that instead of flowers, please donate to her newly-formed foundation at or directly to St. Ambrose School at 4213 Mangum Rd, Houston, TX 77092.

Joe will continue his campaign to become the next Sheriff of Harris County in honor of his late wife. “That’s what Donna would want me to do. She was always my biggest fan, and I want to continue on knowing that she will be watching me from heaven.

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Joseph Menslage

Joseph Menslage is the Publisher of Katy Christian Magazine and Fort Bend Christian Magazine. Contact him at