Donna P Carlson (Paterno) passed away unexpectedly but peacefully on Saturday January 8, 2022, at the Marlborough Health Care Center in Marlborough CT. She was born November 5, 1946, to the late Dominic J and Charlotte A Paterno (White) in Hartford CT.
Donna grew up in East Hartford, CT and graduated from East Hartford High School in 1964. She spent summers at Chalker Beach in Old Saybrook boating, swimming and perfecting her tan. After high school and some time working as a secretary at Pratt & Whitney, she went on to marry and raise her family in Manchester CT. In 2016 Donna moved to the Marlborough Health Care Center where she quickly became a favorite among staff and residents. Donna spent most of her adult life managing her diagnosis of chronic progressive Multiple Sclerosis while caring for her family and making the most of each day. She was a longtime volunteer of the Manchester Memorial Hospital Volunteer Services staff and a member of the National MS Society. Despite her illness she was able to live in her own home, bake her famous brownies, play a tough game of setback or gin, make new friends, use senior transportation on her own to go places and always find the time and a spot to sit with her face to the sun.
Donna is survived by her daughter Dawn M Chmielewski and son in law Todd of Marlborough CT, and her son Todd R Carlson of Melbourne FL. In addition to her children, she is survived by her 6 grandchildren: Dana and Nick Chmielewski of Marlborough CT and TJ, Mackenzie, Hannah and Brayden Carlson of Melbourne FL. She was pre-deceased by her brothers Wayne L Paterno and Bradley J Paterno and her former husband and father of her children Leroy H Carlson Jr. In addition to nieces, nephews, cousins and dear friends she also leaves behind the staff and her fellow residents at the Marlborough Health Care Center. Calling hours will be held on Saturday, January 22, 2022 from 10 AM to 11 AM at the Aurora McCarthy Funeral Home 167 Old Hartford Road, followed by a memorial service.
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