Donna Wolf

Obituary of Donna Elaine Jeary Wolf

Donna Elaine Jeary Wolf was passionate, smart, loyal, creative, resilient, practical when she needed to be, and generous with everyone. As a mother of four, a grandmother, and a lifelong teacher, she opened her home, her resources, and her heart to hundreds of people, young and old alike.  


She spent more than 30 years as an educator. A graduate of Leroy High School, she completed her undergraduate training at SUNY Fredonia and received her graduate degree from Canisius College. She taught at the Gallaudet School for the Deaf in Washington, DC, Rochester School for the Deaf in Rochester, NY, and the BOCES facility in Clifton Springs, NY.  She spent over twenty years of her career as a special education teacher at Canandaigua City School District. Donna also served as a volunteer to the community through her involvement with many local educational organizations.


Mentoring didn’t end at the classroom door. Former students, colleagues, and friends often filled her welcoming Chapin Street home and wide front porch for deep conversations or just supportive visits. Donna’s great wisdom and advice often served as a blanket of compassion and mentorship for those looking for respite from the challenges of day to day life. 


Donna was born Feb 12, 1944 in Batavia, New York. She was a sister to brothers Jack and David (Sharon).  She married and had four children: Evan (Lisa), Neal (Holly), Katie (Bobby), and Ben (Amy).  Celebrating her children’s individual talents and interests, she supported them in their pursuit of their own paths. Though Donna underwent great hardships as a child, she experienced life as a fascinating adventure, relaying those poignant moments through stories about building her tenacious character and ultimately strengthening her resolve and empathy for others. 


Donna treasured her role as a grandmother to eight. Her home was a magical, whimsical place of chaos, creativity, toys, discovery, learning, and love. She regularly repurposed treasures of the past into newfound joys. Her late brother Jack’s piano was a centerpiece of the home, and she welcomed curious little hands climbing onto the bench as she shared stories. The greatest gift she gave her grandchildren was focused attention. She did not believe children should be “seen and not heard,” and asked them questions and truly listened to their answers. She celebrated their accomplishments with gusto, while also reinforcing how much she loved them no matter what they did or didn’t do. Her love for her grandchildren and her granddogs was unconditional.


In her final hours, Donna passed away peacefully surrounded by her children at Saratoga Hospital in Saratoga Springs, New York. She was 78 years old. Donna was relentless in her pursuit of love and how she lived her life. She is survived by a legacy of love that will continue to grow through those she knew.


At her request there will be no funeral services.  In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to the Saratoga Hospital Foundation,, an organization that provides service aide to her local community and was close to her heart.


A Memorial Tree was planted for Donna
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Glenville Funeral Home
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