PLATTSBURGH — Helen Lucille Donahue, 86, died peacefully Thursday, Jan. 2, 2013. She was born April 2, 1927, in Websterville, Vt., the youngest of six children to Peter and Lula (Nye) O'Connor.
Helen graduated from Spaulding High School and attended Burlington Business College. She married Norbert J. Donahue on May 3, 1947, at St. Sylvester's Church in Graniteville, Vt. and moved from Vermont to Plattsburgh, N.Y. in 1952. Helen's life revolved around her family. She was a devoted wife and loving mother and she took joyful interest in the lives and activities of her children and grandchildren. Helen worked part time for several years in the office at St. Mary's of the Lake Parish and in later years as an activities aid at Sacred Heart Nursing Home.
Helen's pastimes in her earlier life included sewing, knitting, and reading, singing in the church choir and tending her summer flowers. She also volunteered her time teaching little children religious education classes at St. Mar'ys of the Lake Church. Helen loved her house on Cumberland Head that she and Norby built in 1955. There they raised their six children and welcomed friends and family. Grandma relished in the simple pleasures of playing the piano with a child, reading a storybook, watching a funny movie and making a big bowl of stove popped popcorn with lots of butter to share (she liked to eat hers soaked in a glass of milk). Anyone that ever ate one of her meals can attest that she was an excellent cook and fantastic baker.
She was predeceased by her husband Norbert Norby Donahue; her parents Peter and Lula O'Connor; two sisters, Edna Liese and Mildred Cozzi; three brothers, Lawrence O'Connor, Clifford O'Connor and B. Wendell O'Connor; and son-in-law, Gordon Hazel.
Helen is survived by her six children and their children; Kathleen Hazel (Marc and David), Miles and Debra Donahue (Eric, Ryan and Meghan Zedick), Mark and Jane Donahue (Patrick, Elizabeth, Bryan and Colin), Joan and Vincent Adorno (Michael, Daniel and John), Martin and Tina Donahue (Caitlin and Savanna), and Susan and Mark Cloutier (Bethany, Bryce, Alyssa and Brianna); and nine great-grandchildren.
Calling hours will be held from 3 to 6 p.m., on Tuesday, Jan. 7, and from 9 to 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 8, at Brown Funeral Home. The funeral Mass will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 8, at St. Peter's Catholic Church. Burial will be in the spring at St. Mary's of the Lake Cemetery on her beloved Cumberland Head.
Donations may be made to Seton Academy or the Interfaith Food Shelf. Arrangements have been entrusted to Brown Funeral Home, 29 Broad Street, Plattsburgh, NY 12901 (518) 561-3980. Online condolences and memorial candles may be offered at www.brownfuneralhomeinc.com.