Citizen Telegram Obituaries: Kalea Lynne Vejraska, Donna Lee Austin |

Citizen Telegram Obituaries: Kalea Lynne Vejraska, Donna Lee Austin

Staff Photo |

Kalea Lynne Vejraska

Kalea Lynne Vejraska departed her earthly life and entered into the joy of her Master on Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013. She passed away peacefully at her home at Grand Junction, Colo., surrounded by family and special friends. Her nearly 8-year battle with cancer is over, and she now enjoys a victorious new life in heaven because of her salvation through Jesus. She was 8 years old.

Kalea was born to Karen (Antes) and Mark Vejraska on May 4, 2005, in Grand Junction. She lived her life with faith, joy and determination that overcame the adversity she faced. Diagnosed with cancer at the age of 6 months, she consistently showed courage and resilience well beyond her tender years. Those strong attributes often caused those who knew her to marvel.

Kalea loved to sing, dance, read and pray. She never tired of time with family, from snuggling and reading with her mama, to playing and dancing with her sister, from singing with her brother’s piano accompaniment, to teasing her daddy. She also enjoyed time with extended family, including Grandma Marlea and Aunt Marcia, with whom she enjoyed special bonds.

She couldn’t get too much time with cousins of all ages, and always loved time with her friends. She touched many with her singing, her dance, her piano playing, and her bold expressions of faith.

Kalea is survived by her parents, Karen and Mark; her brother, Paul; and her sister, Sara; all of Grand Junction. She also is survived by maternal grandparents, Phillip and Marlea Antes of Rifle, Colo.; paternal grandfather Eugene Vejraska of Alliance, Neb.; Aunt Marcia Antes of Rifle; Aunt Tina and Uncle Duane Antes of Silt, Colo.; Aunt Beth and Uncle Tad D’Ambrosio of Pittsford, N.Y.; Aunt Jo and Uncle Scott Vejraska of Mirage Flats, Neb.; Aunt Kiven and Uncle Chuck Waid of Colorado Springs, Colo.; and many cousins, great aunts and uncles and friends.

Kalea was preceded in death by her paternal grandmother, Elinor Vejraska.

A graveside service was held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 23, at Rose Hill Cemetery in Rifle, with Pastor Dene Johnson of Rifle Christian Church officiating. Pallbearers were Christopher Valentine, Cole Vejraska, Heath Vejraska and Erik Villaseñor. Honorary pallbearers were Andrew D’Ambrosio and Christian D’Ambrosio. A reception followed the service in the fellowship hall of St. Mary Parish Catholic Church, 761 Birch Ave., in Rifle. A Celebration of Life service was held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 25, at the chapel of the Canyon View Vineyard.

Church, 736 24½ Road in Grand Junction, with Pastor Dan Russell of Appleton Christian Church officiating. A reception followed the service in the fellowship hall of the chapel building.

Callahan Edfast Mortuary was in charge of arrangements. Appleton Christian Church may be contacted at 970 (242) 7380 if more information is needed.

Memorial funds have been established at the following organizations, both of which were near and dear to Kalea’s heart: Appleton Christian Church, 2510 I-70 Frontage Road, Grand Junction, CO 81505, and The Pregnancy Center, 930 Main St., Grand Junction, CO 81501.

The family wishes to thank the neuro-oncology staff of The Children’s Hospital, Western Colorado Pediatrics (especially Dr. Barbara Zind), and Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado for their excellent care of Kalea throughout her life. We also wish to thank our brothers and sisters at Appleton Christian Church for their love, support and prayers over the years. Finally, we wish to express our gratitude to our family, employers, coworkers and friends, who have loved and lifted up Kalea and the rest of us at all times and in all circumstances.

PHOTO: Obituaries-RCT-082913-2

Donna Lee Austin

July 25, 1934 – Aug. 23, 2013

Donna went to be with the Lord her God on Aug. 23, 2013. Donna was born on July 25, 1934, to Lawrence and Winifred Gilson in Los Angeles, Calif.

Donna was preceded in death by her parents and her sister, Pat. She is survived by her children, Ronnie, Connie, Larry and Debbie; eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren; her sisters, Bert Satterfield and Ruby (Gerald) Hoss; her brothers, Eddie Reese ( Linda) and Robert Reese, as well as many nephews and nieces. Full obituary at

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