Donna Alta Combs (Lawrence) passed away peacefully on Monday, April 10. She was seventy-three years old. Though born in New Jersey and spending some of her adult life in Alaska, Pennsylvania, Oregon, New Mexico and Missouri, Donna spent her first eighteen and last thirty-five years in Keene Valley and Keene, New York. It was here she would always consider home. She had various jobs through the years, but it was her work as a Pro Bono Legal Administrator at North Country Legal Services in Plattsburgh with which she truly connected and found fulfilment. Donna also spent time volunteering for prison literacy programs where she tutored inmates in reading and offered her spare time to her favourite charity thrift shop in Lake Placid.
Known for being thoroughly opinionated and courageous in sharing her thoughts, it was this same passion that drove her generosity and ambition to help those less fortunate. Donna always enjoyed being able to assist others; whether it was with her interest and knowledge in legal issues and criminology or by supplying bags of clothes to people around town, she was eager to help. She will be remembered for her love of and pride in her family; her enjoyment of true crime shows, crossword puzzles, sudoku, trivia, quiz and card games; her fascination with the history of the British monarchy; her excitement at finding a bargain; and her deep and infallible devotion to all things Neil Diamond.
Donna was predeceased by her parents: Smith Beede and Mabel Lawrence, and her younger brother: S. Brett Lawrence, all of Keene Valley, New York. She is survived by her four daughters: Lisa Nason (Phillip) of Warwick, Rhode Island; Kimberly Vanderlaan (Brett) of California, Pennsylvania; Kristen Combs of Lafayette, Colorado and Dana Leigh (Gavin) of Emsworth, England; her sister: Andrea Maeberry (John) of Morristown, Tennessee; her sister-in-law: Mary Lawrence of Keene Valley, New York; four grandchildren: Quentin and Emma Nason, Kai Vanderlaan and Maddox Leigh; as well as several nieces, nephews and cousins. She would also want noted the dedication of her local community and especially her dearest friends, all of whom she considered family.
Arrangements are being handled by Heald Funeral Home. A service is planned for Saturday, August 26, with full details to follow. Memorial donations can be made to the Ecumenical Charity Program (Helping Hands Thrift Shop) in Lake Placid, the Keene Public Library or the Keene Food Pantry.