Donna Mae (D’Onofrio) Bartlett, 83 of Heathrow Florida went to be with the lord February 11, 2021. One year ago today we lost the matriarch of our family. She was a loving mother, sister, aunt, great aunt, cousin, friend, and wife to her husband 0f 43 years Paul W Bartlett, who preceded her in death in August of 2020.
She was born in August of 1937 to Anthony and Gertrude D’Onofrio and raised in Syracuse, New York. She was a graduate of Blessed Sacrament, and Convent School, and attended Nazareth College in Rochester, NY. She loved dancing (ballet, tap) just as much as she loved traveling. It didn’t take long before her love of travel and adventure led her to United Airlines and in 1958 she became a flight attendant based out of Seattle, Washington flying on DC-7 and DC-8.
In 1962 she worked for Boeing Airline Company and in that same year performed with a dance troop at the Seattle World’s Fair. My brother recalls the time she spent working at the Infamous Edgewater Hotel as a singer/dancer in the main showroom warming up the audience before performers such as Pearl Baily, George Carlin, Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass. I am sure this is no surprise to anyone who knew Donna, but she would befriend the entertainers and invite the group back to the house for home cooked meals. The Beatles put the Edgewater Hotel on the Map in 1964 as it was one of the only hotels that would host the Band during Beatlemania.
She eventually found her way back to Syracuse in 1966 and for the next 10 years worked for Mohawk Airlines, in the Emergency room as an administrative assistant, went back to school got her AA degree in Interior Design and Architecture, worked for a travel agency, oh and between 1960 and 1970 she had 2 children Jon – the oldest, and Tracy. In 1976 she met and married Paul W Bartlett. They moved a bit south to Tully New York until their move to Longwood Florida in 1986.
Once in Florida Donna took interest in the cruise industry and soon became an Executive Charter Member, Board of Director, and President of The National Association of Cruise Only Agents until she retired in 1998.
When Donna and Paul moved into Heathrow they were very active in all the social clubs. Donna became part of the Heathrow Women’s Club and enjoyed the fellowship and community service. She was a past secretary of the Heathrow Women’s Club in part because her friend Claris said it would be fun. She loved every minute of it.
Our mother was a treasure trove of funny stories, awkward outburst, and lifetimes of laughter. She was outspoken, independent, and would give you the shirt off her back or her last dollar if it would help. Her heart was big, and her intentions pure. She loved the people in her life.
She is survived by her loving son Jon Koepfli, and loving daughter Tracy Caveny, loving sister Mary Ellen Boland, sister Lynda and brother-in-law Bud Hedinger, nieces Lisa Lundgren, Carolyn Izzo and husband Mark, Suzanne Amstutz and Husband Aaron, Nephew Brad Hedinger and Wife Dana. She also loved her grand nieces and nephews Anthony, Faith, Brinley, Lily, David, Ashlyn.
She is preceded in death by her husband Paul W Bartlett, and her brother William D’Onofrio It has been hard to just get to this point because putting all these words together on paper makes it real.
We would like to have a celebration of life gathering but with family scattered all over the US that is not possible at this time. We will keep you posted. Thank you so much for keeping our family in your thoughts and prayers this past year. We are grateful and appreciative.