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Donna's Story

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Donna Mae Staab Dudas age 91 of 571 Chestnut Street, Meadville, PA, passed away Saturday, July 1, 2017 at Marquette House after a very brief illness. Donna was born on March 22, 1926 at home on North Street, Meadville, PA, a daughter of Walter F. and Nellie Belden Staab. Donna's parents moved frequently and she would often joke she moved 51 times in her lifetime, including living in Marion, Ohio and time spent in Detroit with her Grandparents, Perry and Mae Belden. While in Elementary School, Alice Hitchcock made her home with the Staab's for 10 years, until Alice married Ernie Amos. A graduate of St. Agatha High School in 1943, third in her class and was accepted at Villa Maria College. Donna wrote the 1943 Senior Class Prophecy. Due to her father's heart attack, Donna was not able to attend college and changed her career plans. At age 17 she and two other girl friends went to live in NYC to find jobs. After three weeks, Donna was homesick and returned to Meadville and went to work for the OPA (Office of Population Affairs ) (Ration Board). While at OPA she met her lifelong friend Gladys Gordon. After WWII, she worked for ten years as secretary with Westinghouse (currently Seco-Warick). Her good friends Clarence First and Gladys Gordon introduced her to Bud Toohey, owner of Canto Tool Corporation. Donna worked as Corporate Secretary to Canto and Armoloy of Illinois (Canto's daughter company). When Mr. Toohey sold Canto to Ronnie Cummings and Ted Johnson, Donna retired after 22 years of service. Donna then went to work for Chuck Waltenbaugh (Connecticut Mutual) for a few years until she went to work for the Barco's at MMA (Armstrong) as ShowTime bookkeeper. Donna was known as the "ShowTime Lady".
Donna married George Dudas, February 11, 1965 and they renewed their vows at St. Agatha on their 25th Wedding Anniversary, Monsignor Henry J. Schauerman, Officiant with Gary and Kathy Yaeger as witnesses. Donna and George traveled as far north as New Brunswick, Montreal and Quebec south to Key West Florida. For 35 years they spent time in Maine where Donna loved the rocky coast and spent hours reading while sitting on the rocks.
Donna was a former member of the Delta Sigma Phi Sorority, Delta, Delta Chapter and a Meadville Business and Professional Women's Club (BPW) member.
Donna was an accomplished seamstress and needle worker who also appreciated the outdoors, hiking, boating and cross country skiing. Donna and George enjoyed dining out and attending the theatre, attending the Kenley Playhouse, MCT and the Academy Theatre on a regular basis. Donna made the best penuche at Christmas time. Donna also hung the icicles in a very precise manner on her Blue Spruce Christmas Trees and setting up her Creche. A devout Roman Catholic even when Donna could no longer attend Mass, she prayed the Rosary and said Novena's.
Donna is survived by cousins, Jean Staab Marsh, Diane Rossi Esposito, Faith (Bill) O'Marrie, Anthony (Kim) Rossi, Nancy Belden (Chuck) Wolff, Edith Belden Sabylak, David Belden and David Myers.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband George, and cousins Barbara Schwab (Bill) Williams, Robert Staab, Jr. and Joseph Belden.
Donna wanted to live independently as long as possible, her cousin and Goddaughter Kathy Schwab (Gary) Yaeger honored her wishes. Gary Yaeger who checked on her every other day was chief grocery shopper, light bulb changer and would reset the clocks, phones and answering machine on regular basis made this possible along with Michelle E. Williams who had provided many rides. Together with the marvelous resources for Seniors that are available in Crawford County. Donna liked to play UNO with Joey Williams and let him 'cook' usually something with hot dogs in her kitchen. Donna appreciated the many thoughtful gestures and time spent by Elizabeth Yaeger (Patrick) Kurpius. Also Misty and Michael Shaw who provided laundry service, visits, prayers and other errands.
Chloe Lattin an Allegheny College pre-med student with the Community Care Network (CCN) Health Coach Program was one of Donna's favorites. The Kappa Alpha Beta Sorority, of which Chloe is a member held a special luncheon to honor women, the members most admired. Donna was very proud to be Chloe's guest. Donna was able to meet Chloe's parents at her 2017 Graduation.
Thank you to Dr. Anthony Randolph and Nurse Joy Mudger, CCN, Denise at The Office of the Aging, Helpmates, Interim and Guardian Health Care Aides, Bob George and Tom her favorite driver. A special thank you to Lori Harrison, Palliative Care Nurse, the TCU staff and the wonderful staff at Marquette House, Joy, Tonya and Torrie for the seamless transition this past week.
Memorials may be made to the Sight Center of Northwest PA (2545 W. 26th Street Erie, PA 16506, St. Agatha Catholic Church 353 Pine St. Meadville, PA 16335 or Hospice of Crawford County 766 Liberty St. Meadville, PA 16335
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at a later date.
Mrs. Dudas' funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the Hatheway-Tedesco Funeral Home and Crematorium, 614 Baldwin Street, Meadville, PA 16335, R. R. Tedesco II Supervisor.
Please sign Mrs. Dudas's guestbook at: hatheway-tedesco.com.
Published on July 2, 2017
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