We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Varnum Funeral Home, Inc.
Donna Lee (Smets) Groner passed away peacefully on Saturday, July 16, 2022 at Quaboag Rehabilitation and Skilled Care Center in West Brookfield, MA at the age of 77.
Donna will missed by her sons, David Groner of Cashmere, WA, and Michael Groner and his wife Colleen of Barre, MA. She is also survived by her loving grandchildren, Joshua (JJ) Groner, David Ronald Groner, and Isaac Groner.
Donna lived a life that combined her great passions: service and adventure.
Donna was born on November 3, 1944 in New Brunswick, NJ to Henry and Margaret (Harrison) Smets. She graduated from Philipsburg Osceola High School class of 1962 and then Penn State in 1966. A mother devoted to her children and their education, she carried this desire to promote learning into a career in public libraries. First as a volunteer, then library clerk and finally as an enormously respected librarian in the Irondequoit Public Library system with a Masters degree of Library Science from the University at Buffalo (1996).
After retiring to her beloved Ocean City, NJ she could not resist the call to serve others in many capacities. Donna became a librarian at the Linwood NJ Public Library. St. Peter’s Methodist Church in Ocean City gave her opportunities to help others, especially volunteering at a food pantry.
Donna was a world traveler. Her curious mind led her to dozens of countries across six continents including Kenya, Cambodia and Peru. She was able to combine her drive for learning and service: Through Earthwatch she volunteered on service projects throughout the world. In the US she also enjoyed participating in charity marathons.
A memorial services will be held St. Peter’s Methodist Church in Ocean City, NJ on July 30. Calling hours will start at 10am and the service will begin at 11 am. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Peter’s United Methodist Church to support their ACUP food mission (https://www.makingwaves.church).
Varnum Funeral Home, Inc., 43 East Main St., in West Brookfield is assisting her family with arrangements.
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