Mary A. DiDonato "Miss D"
Mary A DiDonato, 87, known to many as "Miss D" passed away peacefully on January 11, 2018 at Cleveland Clinic Akron General Medical Center with her family by her side. The eldest of seven chiidren, she was born April 1, 1930 in Akron, Ohio to Leopold and Beatrice DiDonato. She was preceded in death by her parents and her twin sisters Joann(DiDonato) Staats and Maxine DiDonato. Mary is survived by brothers Tony (Jane), Rudy (Patti), Robert (Jeannette), and Eugene (Bonnie) DiDonato. Also surviving are 11 nieces and nephews and 24 great nieces and nephews.
Mary was a graduate of Akron Garfield High School Class of 1948. She started nursing training at St. Thomas Hospital, and graduated in its first class in 1951. Thereafter, she began her nursing career working in their emergency room. In 1955 she moved to Akron General Medical Center and worked there until 1992 serving in various capacities, which included head nurse of the oncology department. Her 63 year nursing career was completed following her direct service to patients while serving under her mentor and friend, Dr. Sandra Hazra.
Over her career, Mary was awarded with many honors including Nurse of the Year, Employee of the Year, Joan Andrews Professional Nurse award, the American Cancer Society Courage award, Volunteer of the Year VNS, Dean's Award from the University of Akron, Crain's Lifetime Achievement award, and Summit County Woman of the Year award.
She continuously gave to others in many ways. She volunteered at the Village of St. Edwards, Stewarts Caring Place, Justen Rogers Hospice, Visitation of Mary, American Cancer Society, St. Vincent De Paul, and the Akron General Medical Center, and Children's Hospital Tree Festival. In 2007 she established the Mary A. DiDonato Scholarship Fund at The University of Akron to assist future nurses. Through her generosity 53 scholarships have been awarded to 42 students to further their education in the medical profession. Mary also initiated a Memorial Nurses mass at St. Paul Catholic Church to honor deceased nurses. Her passion and dedication to this event for 10 years attracted 250 nurses annually.
Mary loved the Cleveland Browns and until her death was a Dawg Pound season ticket holder. Mary also was a world traveler. She lived life to its fullest and was ever inspired by the motto "Live, Laugh, Love".
She had many dear friends in her life, including Julie Clegg, Regina Saus, Bonnie Gardner, and mentor Kathryn Homeier. Her legacy has inspired many to enter the health care profession. Three of her great-nieces have initiated medical school due to her influence.
Calling hours will be on Sunday January 14th, 2018 from 2 p.m. to 7p.m. at Anthony Funeral Home, 1990 S. Main St., Akron, Ohio 44301. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Monday, January 15,2018 at 11:am at St Paul Catholic Church , 1580 Brown St Akron OH 44301. Entombment Holy Cross Cemetery
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The University of Akron, Mary A. DiDonato Scholarship Fund or St. Paul Catholic Church. (Anthony, AKRON, anthonyfh.com,330-724-1281)