Woman aided with loving ways, affinity for helping others

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Golden Meadow native Rocky Kiffe thinks his mother Donne Kiffe was a hero.

After one studies the woman’s life and talks to the people that she’s impacted, it’s hard to argue that statement.

She was exactly that – a true local hero.

Donna Kiffe was a wife, loving mother and community champion – a woman who worked tirelessly through social work to help Houma-Thibodaux natives live better, more peaceful lives.

A Raceland native and Golden Meadow resident, Donna passed away on Dec. 30, 2015. She was 59.

She is survived by her husband, Roy; sons, Jayson and Rocky; and stepchildren, Wanda Fos and Troy Kiffe.

Known to family and friends as “Honey,” family members remember the woman for the goodness she had in her heart – the ability to always find a way to do for others in any situation.

“The outpouring of thoughts and prayers from the community has been nothing short of amazing,” Rocky said. “I’m still hearing of people who she helped when they were in a bind or needing a shoulder to cry on or a listening ear. She was a servant. Plain and simple. That’s who she was.”

As a social worker, Donna impacted hundreds, if not thousands of people in Lafourche over the years, and she did so in various ways.

Rocky said Donna was a stay-at-home mom when her children were younger, but once they got into school, she took a job with the Lafourche Parish Office of Community Action.

While there, she helped less fortunate families get aid to stay afloat – something that Rocky said was his mother’s pride and joy.

“She helped needy families receive food commodities,” Rocky said. “And she helped people get assistance they needed to pay their Entergy bills. It was right up her alley to do that kind of work, and she was so good at it.”

While working for the parish, Donna also worked tirelessly to teach Christian values to others in her spare time. Donna was the Director of Religious Education at Our Lady of Prompt Succor Church in Golden Meadow for many years – a position that allowed her to help hundreds of children in their spiritual development.

Rocky said he remembers growing up and seeing his mom in action in that setting. He said he admires the energy and enthusiasm she always showed to both the students and also her family.

“Many a nights, we’d get home late from religion,” he said. “I mean really, really late. She’d work her day job with Community Action, then come straight home to religion. And if my dad, who worked 21 and 21 at the time wasn’t home, she’d get home and start supper. We wouldn’t get to bed until very late, but she’d wake up the next day early to go to work and do it all over again.

“My mom kept going because she absolutely adored helping others. That was in her DNA.”

Away from the philanthropy, Rocky said that Donna was lenient, but fair as both a mother and as a wife to Roy – as long as you were a gentleman at all times.

Rocky said that his mother loved to help her children with their school projects and did everything to instill in her children the values needed to be a good person.

“She wanted you to have manners, be courteous and to know the difference between right and wrong,” he said. “She expected you to practice these things on a daily basis.”

Daughter-in-law Lacey Kiffe said Donna was an amazing grandmother – the type to always spoil her grandchildren and shower each with love. She had nine grandbabies total, and she’d often brag about each on her Facebook page.

“She was crazy about my son Ethan,” Lacey said. “She’d call or message me after spending time with him just to go on and on about the things that they would talk about. She was his Honey. She’d spoil him with stuffed animals. They loved each other so much. Ethan sleeps with his Honey bear every night that he got from his Honey.”

Rocky said that his mom battled health problems in her final months, but that her death was unexpected.

He said since his mother’s passing, he and his family have been swarmed by well wishes from community members who wanted to show respect for the impact that Donna had.

Lacey said that the family misses “Honey” every day, but added that they find peace in knowing that she did so much in her time her to impact people in a positive way.

“I’m glad that we have the memories and time with her that we did,” Lacey said. “But man, I wish we could have had more. … But the one thing I know is that she’d just want us all to be happy and have faith in God, because that’s what she always preached.”

“She made everyone smile – at least a little,” Rocky added. “She was a hero. My mom was a hero.” •

Donna Kiffe smiles while giving her godson a gift. Showing constant love and positivity to others were among the things that made the woman special, according to her family and friends.