January 3, 1942 - November 4, 2018
Visitation: 2 – 4 p.m. Wednesday, November 7, 2018 at Thompson’s Harveson & Cole.
Graveside service: 2 p.m. Friday, November 9, at Fairview Memorial Gardens, Fayetteville, Ark.
Memorials: In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to the Donna Axum Whitworth Scholarship Fund, Tri-Delta Foundation, 14951 North Dallas Pkwy #500, Dallas, TX 75254
Donna Axum Whitworth, loving wife and mother, passed away on Sunday, November 4th, 2018 at the age of 76.
Donna was born January 3, 1942 in El Dorado, Arkansas to Idelle and Hurley Axum. Donna graduated from El Dorado High School and then earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. She was a devoted member of the Delta Iota Chapter of the Delta Delta Delta sorority, an organization she continued to support throughout her life. Her love of music and her talent as a vocalist led Donna to win the title of Miss Arkansas and then on to be crowned Miss America 1964. She had a diverse professional career as a television personality, professional speaker, author, and university professor. She also devoted much of her life to fund raising and philanthropy.
Her love and involvement in the arts spanned local, state, and national levels. Donna received a Presidential Appointment to serve on the President’s Advisory Committee for the Arts at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. She was a past Chairman of the Texas Cultural Trust and Board Chairman for the organization’s Texas Women for the Arts. In Fort Worth, Donna was a member of the Van Cliburn Foundation Board of Directors, the Fort Worth Symphony Executive Committee and the Texas Christian University, College of Fine Arts Advisory Board. Donna served as President of Imagination Celebration, a Kennedy Center program that has served the public schools in Fort Worth for over 20 years. Donna was also the first Miss America elected to the Miss America Board of Directors.
Survivors: She is survived by her husband of 36 years, J. Bryan Whitworth of Fort Worth, Texas; her sister, Mona and husband, Bob Turnham, of Shreveport, LA; daughter, Lisa, and husband, James Mikus, of Austin, TX; son, Gus H. Mutscher and wife, Amy, of Arlington, VA; daughters, Elizabeth and husband, Todd Forgan, of Dallas, TX; Suzanne, and husband, George Holland, of Dallas, TX; Cathy and husband, Alex Jordan, of Little Rock, AR. In addition, Donna is survived by nine grandchildren, Matt and Will Mikus, Cade and Drew Mutscher, Callie and Ella Margiotta, Stuart Smith, Meghan Miros, and Emily Hoopes.