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Donnie Ray Hensley, 82, Pittsville, former longtime resident of Holden, passed away Wednesday, September 30, 2020, at his home.

Donnie was born November 17, 1937 in Independence, Missouri, the son of Ray and Arnetta (Franklin) Hensley. He graduated from Holden High School in 1955 and was united in marriage to Darlene Irvine on September 25, 1960 at Enon Baptist Church in Pittsville.

The couple lived north of Pittsville for a brief time prior to moving to Holden and in 2013 returned to Pittsville.

In years past, Donnie worked in Kansas City at Bendix in the inspection department, and later became plant manager of Holden Manufacturing Company/Unitog and eventually retired from Unitog Corporate in Kansas City in 1999. From 1976 to 1986, Donnie and Darlene owned and operated The Clothesline clothing store in Holden.

Donnie drove race cars from the 1950s through the mid-1960s, including late model stock cars on the IMCA national racing circuit.
He was a member of Elm Spring Baptist Church and a past member of the Holden City Council, Police Merit Board, High School Booster Club, Saddle Club and Recreation Club. Donnie coached baseball in Holden for many years.

Donnie was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.

He is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Darlene; two sons, Darren and Linda Hensley of Lakewood, CO, and Darrel and Sharon Hensley of Bates City, MO; and one sister, Leola and Kenneth Wheatley of Longmont, CO.

Also left to cherish his memory are four grandchildren, Derek and Tracy Hensley of Lee’s Summit, MO; Kayla Hensley of Raymore, MO; Nicole Hensley of St. Paul, MN, and Brittany Hensley of Whitesboro, TX; and one great-grandson, Dallas Lee Hensley.

Donnie was preceded in death by his parents; and two sisters, Carla Craig and Dorothy Sack.

Funeral services were held at 1 p.m. Saturday, October 3, at Williams Funeral Chapel in Holden, with Pastor Jack Ray officiating.
Interment followed at Elm Spring Cemetery.

The family received friends one hour prior to service Saturday at the funeral home.

Memorial contributions – Donnie enjoyed working with youth and contributions in his memory may be left to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Online condolences may be left at

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