Donna Cook, a driver with TAPS Public Transit for 24 years, passed away recently after a recurring battle with cancer. She began with TAPS when the agency was a much smaller, rural transportation service.
Donna was based in Van Alstyne, where she provided thousands of trips over her more than two decades on the road. TAPS Deputy Chief Operations Officer, Darlene Smith, met Donna 17 years ago when Smith began as a driver in the Gainesville area.
“When I first started driving for TAPS, Donna was a road veteran by then,” recalls Smith. “She had a good seven years on me, and I knew to take her advice if I was going to have a career in public transportation.
“Donna was a great human being. She had a good sense of humor, and her dedication to her passengers —many of whom she came to know very well— was at the top of her priority list.”
Donna was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009. Treatment was successful and she remained cancer free for the next five years. Earlier this year, the cancer returned and she succumbed on May 21.