Celebrating the life of Rev. La Donna Scruggs
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Rev. La Donna Scruggs completed her earthly journey on Sunday, February 12th 2017.
La Donna was born on the first of April, 1939. She grew to adulthood in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati, Ohio, the daughter of Edward and Mayme Loescher. From an early age La Donna demonstrated her concern and care for others and felt a call to ministry. As a teenager she worked as a camp counselor in a program for underprivileged children. She enrolled as a religion major at Transylvania University anticipating becoming a missionary to the Philippines. Her plans were put on hold when she met and married a classmate, Eugene Scruggs. At age 20, La Donna took a position teaching third grade in Dayton, Kentucky. She spent most of her paltry salary on lunches and shoes for underprivileged students. Later in Richmond, Kentucky, observing the inequities experienced by young Black children, La Donna and a friend began a summer activities program for them in what was then a “Whites Only” park. Moving with her family to Temple Terrace, Florida, La Donna began to serve as media specialist in an elementary school where her story-reading was a big hit with the young students. She completed a Bachelor’s of Library Science at the University of South Florida in 1978. She was later called as director of Christian education at Temple Terrace Presbyterian Church. Seeking to learn more about care for the elderly, La Donna completed a Master’s degree in Gerontology also at the University of South Florida. Finally, that first dream of being a minister was fulfilled when La Donna attended Columbia Theology Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. She was ordained in 1999 at the age of 60. She began her next level of service as the pastor for the Presbyterian Homes, a continuing care retirement community in Lakeland, Florida. Combining skills as gerontologist and spiritual guide, La Donna affected the lives of hundreds of residents and staff.
La Donna is survived by her husband, Gene and two daughters, Melana Scruggs (Bert Simmons) of Aurora, MO and Sabrina Scruggs (Oscar Diaz) of Tampa, FL, a sister, Patricia Hartleb (David) of Cincinnati, OH and four granddaughters, Lindsay Tyrrell, Alexandria Tyrrell, Erin Simmons and Shannon Simmons.
A celebration of the life of La Donna will be held at the First Presbyterian Church, 175 Lake Hollingsworth Drive, Lakeland, FL. A reception to meet the family will be held on Saturday, February 18, 2017 at 2:30, followed by a memorial service at 3:30.
Contributions in honor of La Donna may be made to Cornerstone Hospice, 2590 Havendale Blvd, Winter Haven, FL 33881 or for “The Loving Care Fund” at Florida Presbyterian Homes, 15 Lake Hunter Drive, Lakeland, FL 33803
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175 Lake Hollingsworth Drive
Lakeland, FL 33801