For the past 15 years, Joann Conner has proudly been called “The Donut Lady.”
Conner, 82, officially retired Monday during a reception from her position as volunteer coordinator at the Palestine Outpatient Clinic, which serves local veterans.
Every Monday, Conner has brought coffee and donuts and welcomed veterans who were at the clinic for doctor appointments.
“My husband was a veteran and at one time came to the clinic. I just appreciate all of the veterans for what they have done for us and this is just one little way that I could help,” Conner said during the reception.
Conner has been a member of the Frankston Veterans of Foreign Wars Ladies Auxiliary for more than 25 years, having served as president, district president, secretary, treasurer, hospital chairperson, volunteer coordinator and on many other committees.
She moved to Mesquite four years ago to live with her daughter and son-in-law but continued to volunteer her time in Palestine every Monday.
“That was my condition for moving to Dallas — that I still got to volunteer at the clinic here in Palestine,” Conner said with a smile.
Conner, a retired school teacher from the Richardson Independent School District, taught elementary children. She and her late husband had moved to the Frankston area in the late 1980s. They have four children — three daughters (two of whom belong to the Frankston VFW Ladies Auxiliary) and one son. Their children live in Garland, Mesquite and Mississippi. Two of her daughters — Karen and Debby — have been at the clinic passing donuts out to veterans with her. Conner has seven grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. She also is active in her church, Unity of Dallas, where she sings in the choir. She has one cat and two Chihuahua dogs.
Known also as “the little red-haired lady” at the clinic, Palestine Outpatient Clinic Nurse Manager Patti Beckendorf said Conner “lives and breathes red, white and blue.”