Carnations 2

Dona Kay Byram

March 23, 1955 ~ March 18, 2024 (age 68) 68 Years Old

Dona Byram Obituary

Dona Kay Byram, 68, passed away Monday, March 18 at her home in Pisgah Forest. She had been ill for some time. Dona was born in Monroe, GA, March 23, 1955. Dona had been the lead singer for a country/western band from the age of 12. She sang for Johnnie Cash and Loretta Lynn. Dona and the Sweetwater Cowboys were on the radio every week and on TV once in Atlanta. She was a tailor at 19 and a CNA for 2 years after that. Dona was a D.O.D. civilian for almost 10 years establishing libraries in eastern Europe and the MidEast. She was headquartered in Heidelberg when Chernobyl happened. Returning to the U.S. she went to and graduated from M.I.C.A. receiving a BFA.  Her senior year, she was chosen for an internship at the Smithsonian after which they hired her and she worked in the National Gallery of American Art for many years. Then after a divorce, she moved back to Atlanta where she was offered the job to build the museum for the Center for Puppetry Arts, an international draw in mid-town Atlanta. Dona was the director of the museum for 5 years. She met her future husband, Raymond when she was the asst. director of another art center in Cobb County. Dona moved to Asheville in the fall of 2000. Ray and Dona reconnected and started dating in September or 2005 and were married in May, 2008. She kept painting throughout her life. She loved animals and children. Dona is survived by Raymond and their beloved Thor and many friends. A memorial will be held Saturday, April 6 at 1:00 p.m. at their home 566 McGuire Rd. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to environmental groups in Dona's name: EarthJustice, Defenders of Wildlife, Sierra Club

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