Sedalia Parks & Recreation gave their Facebook fans a sneak peek at a new light display that will be part of Light Up Liberty this year. The display honors a couple who were very active in the community and with Sedalia Parks and Recreation.

The light-up display is a Christmas tree made up of musical notes in white lights, and a ribbon running through the three in red lights. With the words, "Have a magical, musical Christmas."

Sedalia Parks & Recreation via Facebook
Sedalia Parks & Recreation via Facebook

It's being added in memory of Don and Edith Donath, who among other things, taught many ballroom dance classes at Convention Hall and could be found attending or playing in many community band concerts at Liberty Park.

If you're a long-time Sedalia resident, you may have known Mr. and Mrs. Donath and maybe even had one of them as a teacher. But for those of us newer to town Mrs. Donath's story is amazing to hear. At least I found learning a little more about her accomplishments amazing. And so did the Associated Press who wrote a story on her 79-year tenure as a violinist in the Sedalia Symphony in April of 2015.

The AP story says she joined the Symphony as a violinist at age 13 and was still performing with them in 2015. It also chronicled her story as one of Pettis County's first music teachers.

Mrs. Donath, according to her obituary at, began teaching the young folks in Pettis County in 1942 at Olive Branch, then Salem, and a variety of other schools until she joined the Sedalia School District in 1953. Her husband Don, taught physical education and drivers education at Smith-Cotton and then was an Assistant Professor of Education at the University of Central Missouri.  In 2013 the couple was honored with the Smith-Cotton Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Mr. and Mrs. Donath certainly left their mark on Sedalia. And it's only fitting that Sedalia Parks & Recreation decided to spend a monetary gift Mrs. Donath left to the parks department on a tribute to the couple. And a perfect tribute it is.

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