In Memory

Donna Giambattista (Detwiler)

Donna Giambattista (Detwiler)

NORTH LIMA - Donna M. (Giambattista) Detwiler R.N., 64, went to be with her Lord on April 18, 2017, at 1:50 p.m. at St. Elizabeth Boardman Health Center.

Donna was born on Sept. 25, 1952, in Youngstown, a daughter of Gabriel and Carmel Tiberio Giambattista.

Donna was a 1970 graduate of Ursuline High School and received her Registered Nursing degree from St. Elizabeth School of Nursing in 1973.

Donna was an amazing individual who touched so many lives in this community. She was a well-respected R.N., especially with pediatric hematology/oncology at the previous Tod Children’s Hospital. Her legacy and life will live on through Yellow Brick Place, a non-profit cancer wellness center that was founded in 2010 by her.

She is survived by her husband, and love of her life, Jerry, whom she married May 26, 1973; her children, Daniel (Stephanie) Detwiler, Ryan Detwiler, Aaron (Jennifer) Detwiler, and Courtney (Todd) Stasko; her grandchildren, Alyssa, Bryan, Braydon, Henry, Sophia, Danny, Evie and Sada; her mother, Carmel Giambattista; a brother, Matthew Giambattista; and a sister, Barbara Kosensky.

Donna was preceded in death by her father, Gabriel Giambattista.

Family and friends will be received on Friday from 9 to 10:45 a.m. at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in New Middletown.

A Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 11 a.m. at the church.

Interment will take place at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery.

The family requests that you wear your bright colors and celebrate Donna’s life like she would have wanted.

The family suggests that any memorial tributes take the form of contributions to Yellow Brick Place, 2959 Canfield Road No. 10, Youngstown, OH 44511, (234) 228-9550.

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04/19/17 06:02 PM #4    

Joyce Ceryan (Frericks)

 were simply "Donna G" to all of us, and "G", you were certainly loved.  I will always remember all the passion, spirit,and laughter you delivered to all of our meetings and endless class projects.  You were a tireless worker then...and continued to be a tireless worker for our class.  Your dedication to and outreach at reunions was inspirational, and your smile never waned, despite the health issues you had faced.

Thank you, Donna for all.

Never forgotten....always loved....may you be an inspiration for all of us going forward.  May God's loving arms return the gifts of love  you gave so many of us. 

My heart is sad today, "Donna G'" for you and the others you now join "on the other side" from our class.  We mourn all of you, but our faith leads us to believe that you will soon organize a "Class of 70 Campaign" of some sort....on the other side.     Joyce Ceryan Frericks








04/19/17 07:09 PM #5    

Kathleen Chaffee (Gaige)

Million dollar smile with a heart of gold... 


04/19/17 07:57 PM #6    

Carol Myers (Malinich)

Donna G is gone but she leaves behind a legacy of love and laughter not only for her family but all who knew her to cherish and remember. Rest in peace sweet lady, Carol M 

04/19/17 09:28 PM #7    

Diane Fetchet (Combs)

No doubt Donna will be missed by our entire class.  She was always so instrumental in our get togethers....always a big hug and smile for everyone.  So glad we had the opportunity to meet up when she was here in Florida as well as getting together with me whenever I came into Youngstown.  R.I.P my friend....heaven just gained an amazing angel .  xoxo 

04/19/17 11:41 PM #8    

William Wynne

On Tuesday my wife came home from work talking about her coworker whose husband has kidney problems.  She was describing the struggles and difficulties she is having dealing with his health issues.  We were sitting in the driveway watching our 2 grandkids play and she says that we are lucky that we both are healthy and have no major health issues.  She was so right.  A few hours later I received the email from Tony saying that Donna had passed away.  I couldn't believe it.  I never really knew about her health problems until I read some of the other comments.  Although I have not talked to Donna in many years I would always see her on TV talking about or doing something related to her cancer wellness center.  What a brave and wonderful woman she was!  In school I just remembered everyone calling her "Donna G" and that big smile she always seemed to have.  We are all going to miss you Donna G!  Rest in Peace. 

04/20/17 05:23 PM #9    

Patricia Gonda (Supko)

I was so saddened to hear about Donna. I transfered to Ursuline my junior year & was a shy insecure teen. I had homeroom with Donna & she smiled at me that first day & made me feel quite welcome. I moved in '76 so after being gone so long when I joined our class website, she was the first person to reach out to me. She told me she was a cancer survivor & I was so impressed with her positive attitude. She had been on my mind recently, as shortly after our last reunion I got diagnosed with cancer & had been wanting to reach out to her for her inspiration. Prayers are with her family, as I know she'll be so missed. I'm sure she will be a part of the welcoming committee in heaven.

04/21/17 01:47 AM #10    

Jean Fair (Wainio)

A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter;

he who finds one finds a treasure.

A faithful friend is beyond price,

no sum can balance his worth.

                                    Sirach 6:14


Donna was an amazing lifelong friend.

I admired her for her many qualities.

She was intelligent, enthusiastic, and passionate about life, and she lived it accordingly.

She loved people and was happiest when she was getting a group together for any reason.

Whatever activity or cause she may partake in, you could rest assured that she would either be its leader or its biggest cheerleader.

She won people over with her beautiful smile and her genuine desire to make whoever she was with feel special.

It was no surprise that Donna chose nursing as her life's work, because she was all about serving the needs of others. 


Donna was a strong and courageous woman. A cancer survivor, herself, she never wanted anyone to have to walk that journey alone, which is why it was her dream to start a cancer wellness center in Youngstown. For the past several years she had worked diligently to make that dream a reality by opening Yellow Brick Place—all while dealing with her own health issues.


I firmly believe that God handpicked Donna to be the champion for people with cancer because He knew that she would use every talent He gave her to the best of her ability. Her inspiration, her compassion, her empathy, and her tireless dedication were essential to the Center’s success. On several occasions, she was recognized publicly and awarded for her accomplishments. What a wonderful way to meet her Maker, knowing that beyond her responsibilities to her family, whom she loved above all else, she dedicated her life to comforting as many people as possible.


Looking back at our grade school and high school years, I think of how her friendship enriched my life. Why, it was Donna who told Bill she thought he should meet me, just fifty short years ago! Although our careers and family took us along different paths, we reunited to enjoy many more happy times, and were there to comfort each other during some of our saddest moments. I am grateful.


The love we experience in a close friendship is a double-edged sword. The very feelings that make the friendship wonderful while we are together are the very same feelings that cause us such heartache when one must depart . . . and, yet, we would not have it any other way, for those feelings are what keep us connected forever . . . .


Donna, you are indeed a treasure.

Rest in Peace

04/22/17 12:28 PM #11    

Tony Tringhese

I meet Donna G and Donna Dota the summer before our freshman year making them two of the first classmates I meet at UHS.  The first two classmates I met were the two Andy's, Naples and Papiernik (stories of my summer adventure with them is best saved for another time). Gary Kukla and I would walk down Wick Ave with the two Donnas after school.  They would get the bus downtown to go to the westside and we would hitchhike to the eastside.

In 1978 we put our Committee together to plan our 10 year reunion.  During the years, committee members left, new ones joined and some, when time became more available, came back. Donna worked as a nurse, raised four active children, battled and beat cancer and started her organization to help others suffering from the effects of cancer.  She also made time to work on every reunion since 1978.  I would imagine there were nights when coming to a meeting took alot of energy that she did not have but she was always there.

Donna also worked on the 60th birthday party and was a part of the planning committee for the upcoming 65th.  Like everyone who knew her, we will miss her joy, input and energy and her friendship.

12/30/20 08:33 PM #12    

Rob Kurz

You were the first and for awhile the only person to comment on my fathers obituary (Rob Kurz). I was always thankful for that. Sadly, I now have to reciprocate. Say hi to my Dad please. 

12/31/20 11:42 AM #13    

Martin Poluse, Ph. D

Donna was one of the nicest individuals that I have ever met. She truly cared about people, and my memories of her at St. Brendan's and Ursuline will always remain.


Lord's peace,

Marty Poluse 

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