Donna was born November 18, 1939 in Washburn, Maine. She was predeceased in death by her grandparents, Harry Duncan and Josephine Duncan (English), her parents, WWII Veteran Ernest R. Conroy and Marjorie A. Conroy (Duncan), and her brother a Vietnam Veteran, Allen R. Conroy, her niece Ronnette L. Reinhart, and William O. Barlow.
Surviving Donna is her sister, Carol L. Chapman (Conroy) of Lancaster, PA. as well as her three children, daughter’s, Kimberly R. Giorgio (Giorgio) of Rochester, NH and Karlene A. Tomassetti (Dean) of Burgaw, NC. a son, Kenneth T. Barlow Sr. (Tracy) of New Bern, NC. Grandchildren Barry S. Lane (Liesl), Joshua M. Lane, K. Thomas Barlow Jr. (Courtney), Katherine J. Barlow, Jonathan R. Barlow, Brittany T. Frias, Robert Lane (Angela), Timothy Lane, Arthur Lane. Nephew Jere Chapman (Peg), two great nieces Elizabeth and Gabrielle and two great nephews, James Reinhart (Melissa), Christopher Reinhart (Meredith). Great Grandchildren Fisher Lee and Raleigh Jones (Thomas & Courtney) and Cashman Steel (Barry & Liesl). Donna loved her grandchildren and great grandchildren very much and would light up every time she saw them or spoke about them and will always be Grammy to them.
Donna’s family moved to Portsmouth in 1955 when her father moved to the area to work for the Railroad Company. She grew up on a farm belonging to her grandparents, Harry and Josephine. Donna graduated from the original Portsmouth High School in 1957. Before that she attended schools in Presque Isle, Maine. Donna began working in 1958 for the City of Portsmouth, NH, as well as the Air Force and the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard as a clerk carrier. Donna was known to have several jobs at one time for many years. She worked at several well-known establishments such as Jarvis Restaurant, Mister Donuts, Red Lion, Weeks, Holiday Inn, and Howard Johnsons. Donna also worked for the NCO club as a waitress on Pease Air Force Base until the base was closed in 1991. In 2001 she left NH and her job at the Ashworth by the Sea coffee shop where she made many friends and many memories.
In 2001, she retired from the Ashworth and moved to Virginia Beach, VA. with her son Kenneth and daughter-in-law Tracy. She spent many years in Virginia until Kenneth retired from the Navy and moved to New Bern, NC. In November 2013 Donna moved to Burgaw, NC with her daughter Karlene and Dean. For several years Donna had been battling health issues which took away her independence and safety. Donna was moved to The Laurels of Burgaw where she was well taken care of until her final breath. We would like express our deepest gratitude to her nurses, Sunshine Neely and Ann Marie Hanchey, plus many others for the personal care and well- being shown to Donna during her stay at The Laurels. They showed her love and compassion as well as great medical care. Their kindness and support will never be forgotten by our family during this most heartbreaking time.
Donna was known for her independence through out her life as well as her stubbornness. She was a strong worker with strong work ethics. She believed in earning a living and being independent of anyone which she passed down to her children. She had a sense of humor to all that knew her and a quick wit about her. She loved to laugh and make others laugh as well. She would always lend a helping hand especially if it had to do with cooking or hospitality. Over the past couple of years, she fought bravely and strongly to beat the cancer that she had survived in 2001. Her motto was never give-up no matter what. She kept her wit and sense of humor until she could no longer communicate. All who knew Donna loved her and always commented on her humor and stubbornness. We all stood by her as she fought to the very end until we were able to say our final goodbyes and told her she was loved very much by all who knew her.
A celebration of Life will be held on April 13, 2019, at 2pm at the home of her son Kenneth T. Barlow and daughter-n-law Tracy, 120 Oak Leaf Court New Bern, NC. All will be welcome to celebrate the life of Donna Mae.