Edie H. Donato, 84, Watertown

WATERTOWN, NY —  Edie H. Donato, 84, of Woodland Drive, Watertown, passed away on Sept. 2, 2021, at Samaritan Medical Center.  She was surrounded by her family at the time of her passing.

Edie was born on June 19, 1937, in Evans Mills, NY.  She was the daughter of Earl Hoover and Gertrude (Black) Nellis. She attended Watertown schools and graduated in 1956 from Watertown High. While in high school, she worked as a page for the Flower Memorial Library. This was her first job, and in retirement, she returned to the Flower Library as a page. She had said many times that working at the Flower Library was one of her most treasured experiences. Throughout her life, she was an avid reader. It was not uncommon for her to read a complete book in a day. It is very likely that she checked out more books than any other patron.

Professionally, she was a secretary for the majority of her life.  She began by working as a secretary in the law office of Stan Waite until she met her husband, Jack Eugene Donato, whom she married on June 4, 1966.  When she and Jack had their first son, Jack Nicholas, she left secretarial work to take care of their child. Three years after the birth of their first son, Jack and Edie had their second son, Frederick Randall. When the boys were school-aged, she began working as a crossing guard.  Eventually, she went to Knickerbocker school to help in the cafeteria. Next, Edie joined the staff of St. Patrick’s School where she worked as school secretary for just over ten years. Much like the jobs of crossing guard and cafeteria worker, her work as a school secretary allowed Edie to see kids and get to know them and their families, which was a continuing source of joy. Edie later went to work for the Watertown City School District. At first, she worked as a secretary for the Athletics department and shortly thereafter she went to Knickerbocker School. She retired from the school district in 2001. One of her greatest joys was running into a former student or their parents, which typically included a big hug.

Edie loved people. Over her life she participated in PTA events when her kids were in grade school and was involved in the Town of Watertown Auxiliary Fire Department. She also was a member of the Eagles and spent time bowling with “the girls.” She enjoyed spending time with her family and especially her grandchildren. She loved to eat at restaurants and enjoyed day trips. She enjoyed visiting casinos and truly loved playing slot machines – even though most of us are not sure why.

Edie, and her family, are thankful for the dedicated members of the medical community.  Over the last 25 years, she had a number of ailments that needed care. The medical professionals in her life provided Edie and her loved ones with the greatest of gifts – the gift of time. The entire Donato family is indebted for their service, dedication, and especially their kindnesses.

Edie is survived by her husband of 54 years, Jack; her sons Jack N. (Karen M.) Donato of Watertown, NY; Frederick R. (Susan) Donato of Watertown, NY; her grandchildren Megan V. Donato of Liverpool, NY; Anthony J. Donato of Orlando FL; Nicholas J. Donato of Syracuse; NY, Dominic M. Donato of Watertown, NY; Kelsee E. Donato, of Watertown, NY; and countless school children whose lives she touched with her everyday kindness, affection, and support.

Calling hours will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, at Hart & Bruce Funeral Home, 117 N Massey St., Watertown, NY.  A memorial service will follow at noon with subsequent burial in North Watertown Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made in Edie’s name to the Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library, 229 Washington St., Watertown, NY 13601 (ph. 315 785-7705) – and she would ask you to read a good book and give somebody a hug.

Online condolences may be made at HartandBruceFH.com