Donata Louise Di Girolamo

July 13, 1938 - July 9, 2018
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Wright & Ford Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services
Maryann Bailey
Jay Martin
Dave Hoos Light a candle


Donata Louise Di Girolamo, age 79 years, of Flemington, NJ, died on Monday, July 9, 2018 at her home, surrounded by her loving family and under the caring watch of Hunterdon Hospice.

Born and raised in Plainfield, NJ, July 13, 1938, Donata was the daughter of the late Louis and Mary Merola Merrill.She had lived in the Herman Kapp Senior Residences in Flemington for the past thirteen years, having formerly resided in Middlesex and Green Brook, NJ.

A 1956 graduate of Holy Trinity in Westfield, NJ, Donata, along with her late husband, Bruce, owned and operated Hoffman’s Deli in North Plainfield and Durham Deli in South Plainfield, NJ.

A loving matriarch, Donata lived by the motto of, ” Your wealth is in your family; family stays together!” She was a loving wife who missed her husband tremendously. The two shared a wonderful marriage of forty-one years until his sudden death on March 16, 1997. The couple had been married on September 1, 1956 in St. Bernard’s Church in Plainfield, NJ and Donata was a longtime communicant of St. Bernard’s Church as well as St. Magdalen Church, Flemington, NJ.

Her faith was strong and that contributed to her soul and spirit being one that was regarded as kind and generous, gentle and caring.

She was very social, having been known to beat just a few people over the years when playing a tough game of Bridge. She enjoyed Atlantic City and its casinos, with her family throwing her a very memorable casino birthday party several years ago.

Growing up, she was the captain of her school basketball team and was also a cheerleader. This lead to a love of sports, especially the New York Yankees and the Miami Dolphins.

Her favorite sport to watch though, was anything her son, Louis, was participating in. She was the loudest football mom on the field and was named an “Honorary Cheerleader” by her son’s school during his senior year.

She attended every game, decked out in her cheerleading uniform, proudly supporting her son and the team. She was very active over those years in other ways, serving as President of the Green Brook Little League and Vice-President of the local football booster Club.

An accomplished pianist, Donata was known for her enjoyment of singing; not that she sung well, but she just enjoyed singing! This was something she especially enjoyed doing with her grandchildren, and they fondly recall her saying that, “1-800-Grandma” was the only thing they ever needed to remember and she would handle the rest; which she always did.

Family meals were also an important time as it helped unite the family together; not many could carve a Thanksgiving turkey as she could, but the spirit of love in which she did it will still live on in the hearts of all who knew her.

She was a proud survivor of Breast Cancer, which she fought for many years. She was often known to say that her fight was guided by her faith and her love of family and that she had too much more to accomplish before joining her husband and the God she loved so much. That spirit of strength and determination, based on love of family and friends, will also not fade from memory anytime soon.

In addition to her husband Bruce Leonard Di Girolamo, she was preceded in death by a great grandson, Cameron James Dufford in 2017.

Surviving are her daughter and son-in-law, Mary and Jim Martin; her son and daughter-in-law, Louis and Kathy Di Girolamo; her grandchildren, Jim Martin, Jr. and his wife, Lauren, Melanie and her husband, Sean Dufford and Alyssa, Nicholas and Louis Di Girolamo; her great grandchildren, Charlotte and Lilly Martin; several extended family members; and many dear friends.

A celebration of Donata’s life will take place on Sunday, July 15, 2018 at 2:30 p.m. in the Chapel of Wright & Ford Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 38 State Highway 31, Flemington, NJ.

The family will receive friends on Sunday from 1:00-2:30 p.m. at the funeral home. All are invited and welcome to share in celebrating the legacy of this special soul. A luncheon will follow the life celebration service at Blue Fish Grill, Flemington, NJ.

Burial will be private in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Plainfield, NJ.

Please visit Donata’s permanent memorial site at where one can light a candle and leave a message of condolence and words of comfort, as well as share stories and photographs of her life.

In lieu of flowers and in honor of Donata’s fight against breast cancer, memorial contributions may be made to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation online by clicking HERE or by mail via the following address: Susan G. Komen, Dept. 41831, P.O. Box 650309, Dallas, TX 75265.


Wright & Ford, your local, family owned and operated “Life Celebration Home”

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Service Schedule

Visitation Information

Date: Sunday, July 15, 2018

Time: 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Wright & Ford Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services, "A Life Celebration Home"


38 State Highway 31
Flemington, NJ 08822

Service Information

Date: Sunday, July 15, 2018

Time: 2:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Wright & Ford Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services, "A Life Celebration Home"


38 State Highway 31
Flemington, NJ 08822

Cemetery Information

St. Mary's Church Cemetery


300 Block Berckman Street
Plainfield, NJ 07062

Burial will be private with her beloved husband, Bruce.

Donation Information

Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation

In 1980, Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan, that she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became the Susan G. Komen®organization and the beginning of a global movement. What was started with $200 and a shoebox full of potential donor names has now grown into the world’s largest nonprofit source of funding for the fight against breast cancer. To date, we’ve invested more than $2.9 billion in groundbreaking research, community health outreach, advocacy and programs in more than 60 countries. Our efforts helped reduce deaths from breast cancer by 38 percent between 1989-2014 and we won’t stop until our promise is fulfilled.

Phone: 1-877- 465- 6636

Susan G. Komen, Dept. 41831
P.O. Box 650309
Dallas, TX 75265
Donate Now


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Timeline for Donata Louise Di Girolamo

Born: July 13, 1938
Died: July 9, 2018

Condolences for Donata Louise Di Girolamo

Wright & Ford Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services

Our sincerest condolences.

Please know that we are here for all of you, however we may be of service.


D.J. Wright and the entire Wright & Ford Life Celebration Care Team Family


Maryann Bailey posted on 7/14/18

There are so many memories I have of Donna through the years. Little did I know when her husband Bruce sold us our new home in Green Brook that our lives would become so entwined. My husband Tony and I began by socializing with Bruce and Donna and learned of their two beautiful children Mary and Louis. Louis happened to be the same age as our Kathy (18 months). Louis and Kathy became childhood sweethearts and have been married now for almost 28 years, The last time I spoke to Donna we shared our common memories, the early death of our husbands, our beautiful children and our beautiful grandchildren. I am glad I was able to see her one last time and to feel the strength in her acceptance and love. May you rest in peace Donna


Linda Marino posted on 7/14/18

Sending my love to all.


Linda Marino posted on 7/14/18

Sending my love to allk


Mark posted on 7/14/18

My condolences to you and your family, may her memory be a blessing! Your friend mark at stop and shop.


Tina Guerriero posted on 7/14/18

Louis, (Godfather) What a beautiful story of your Mom's life! Obviously it was a very full and magnificent one! My deepest condolences to you on your loss. I can tell you with certainty that the love of a mother has no boundaries. Her love will still be with you and there for you, you will just have to look for it differently and in different places, but it will be there..I promise. If you, Kathy or the kids need anything, I am a phone call away. Love Tina (Godmother)


Estelle Saunders, Susan Apgar, Susan Pierman and Paster Bob DiSalvio posted on 7/12/18

To the Family of Donna, Our little group came to Herman Kapp every other Wednesday Morning. The loss of Donna will surely leave a void in our Wed. morning get-togethers but we know Donna is in a better place, no more pain or sorrow. Donna was loved by all of us and we had missed her the last few months. May you find consolation in knowing that others care. May God's love give you strength during your time of sorrow.


Jay Martin posted on 7/11/18

In memory of Donata Louise Di Girolamo, Jay Martin lit a candle


Jane Elizabeth Biago posted on 7/11/18

Mary & Family.........Sending you thoughts and prayers for your loss. May your mother find peace and final rest. Amen Jane Biago


Lisa Spencer posted on 7/11/18

Dear Di Girolamo Family, Please accept my sincere condolences on the passing of your mother and grandmother. Alyssa was one of my students who graduated this year with her master's at TCNJ. I'm sorry you are going through such a sad time. Donata sounds like she was a woman of strong faith so I'm sure she walked through the Light easily into the waiting arms of those who love her.


Sylvia Scozzari posted on 7/11/18

Mary and family, so sorry for your loss. Thoughts and prayers to you all in this difficult time. Warm Regards, Sylvia Scozzari


Linda Cerillo posted on 7/10/18

All our prayers are with you all during this very difficult time. May God bless you all and give you strength during this time. I am so happy to have known this sweet women for over 30 years. Shared many happy memories especially during the holidays and special occasions. Love you all~ The Cerillo Family


Judy Morgan posted on 7/10/18

I am sorry for your loss. My prayers and thoughts are with your family.


Dave Hoos posted on 7/10/18

I am very sorry for your loss. I remember your mom well, she was a great lady.