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 www.wrightfamily.com 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.
Date: Sunday, July 15, 2018
Time: 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Date: Sunday, July 15, 2018
Time: 2:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Burial will be private with her beloved husband, Bruce.
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