West Springfield, Massachusetts — Donna Schaefer, a former administrative employee at L.E. Carpenter, a former resident of Lafayette Twp. and a native of Randolph, died Sunday, Jan. 22 after a brief illness. She was 67.
Born Donna Lea Gorman on Oct. 8, 1955 in Dover, she was the daughter of Rita Scully Gorman and Robert R. Gorman Sr. Donna was raised as the oldest of five children in a happy home in the Millbrook Section of Randolph.
At Randolph High School, from which she graduated in 1974, Donna was remembered for her relentless humor — she was frequently the mastermind of memorable neighborhood pranks, her devotion to her friends and her proud participation on cheerleading squad.
Donna earned two associates’ degrees from the County College of Morris, the first in applied science in 1978 and the second in secretarial science in 1982. She went on to a career in administrative support roles at L.E. Carpenter in Wharton.
On Nov. 11, 1989, Donna married the love of her life, Lawrence R. Schaefer. Donna and Larry met during their years at Carpenter and made their first home in the Dover Hills section of Randolph before moving to the dream home they built in Lafayette in 1998.
Together, they shared mutual loves for family, their beloved dog, Bandit, the Green Bay Packers and the New York Yankees. They hosted annual retreats for their beloved nieces and nephews at “Aunt Da’s Spa” and “Camp Larry.” They also loved to travel and made memorable pilgrimages to Ireland and the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, among many other destinations.
Donna was skilled at the art of crochet and the many afghans she made for wedding gifts are treasured by family and friends alike. She was deeply proud of her Irish heritage and her family’s deep roots in Wharton.
After Larry’s death on May 26, 2011, Donna embarked on a new adventure and moved to western Massachusetts, where she made a new home in West Springfield and later lived in Westfield, with the care and support of her brother, Gary Gorman, and his wife, Tina Gorman.
In addition to Larry, Donna was pre-deceased by her parents.
Donna is survived by her brothers and sisters, Gary Gorman and his wife, Tina, of West Springfield, Mass.; Robert R. Gorman Jr. and his wife, Janet, of Randolph; Lynn Turner and her husband, Bill, of Blairstown; and Janet Finnegan and her husband, Brian of Frankford; devoted nieces, nephews and their children; and many cousins.
Visitation will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 27 at the Bermingham Funeral Home, 216 S. Main St., Wharton. A funeral mass will follow at 9 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 28 at St. Mary’s Church, Wharton. Interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Donna’s memory may be directed to the Fisher Home in Amherst, Massachusetts and to Bay State Health.