Joan Rae Donato

Our dear Joan pased away early Sunday morning, December 5, 2010, at home in her bed surrounded by angels. Anyone who knew Joan will remember her beautiful big smile and her positive personality. She was born in Sullivan, Ind., on a fortuitous April 25 to her mother, Beulah Irene Dow Berg, and father, Price Wilfred Berg. She was a really lovely child and good student and graduated from high school there. Joan lived in Los Angeles and traveled overseas. She met and married Renee Olmiccia and they both fell in love with their golden child, Marcia before they drifted apart.

Joan continued to work and was very proud of her organizational abilities. After some time in Los Angeles, she met a wonderful Italian man who made great martinis, and he married her. She became Joan Donato and loved her life with Emil. They moved to Hawaii and lived near the water where the fishing was good. Joan became a true Hawaiian goddess during this time of good food, of the spiritual life in the Islands, of lots of smiles and happy times. In the late 1990s, life changed in the Islands and Emil and Joan decided to move to the mainland to be closer to family. They ended up buying a cozy little nest in a friendly cul de sac in Talent, Ore. Emil and Joan became active in the community and in their church, meeting so many good people. They would always miss their lives on the beach, but they came to love their home and new Oregonian friends.

Joan was a brave mother when she lost her daughter, Marcie, who had moved to be near her, to cancer. Several years later, Emil died from complications of a stroke, and Joan remained in her home to carry on. She is survived by brother, Duane Berg; Renee Olimiccia; many relatives and all her friends.

This Saturday, December 11, 2010, she will be laid to rest between Emil and Marcie. Please join Joan's friends and family as we inurn her ashes at the Columbarium at the Trinity Episcopal Church on the corner of Lithia Way and 2nd Street in Ashland at 2:00 pm. Special thanks to her loving caregiver, Carol Moore; the supportive folks from Ashland Hospital Hospice; and her great neighbors, Betsy and Kris, who always looked out for her. Donations are kindly accepted by Trinity Episcopal Church. Hillcrest Memorial Park & Mortuary, Medford, OR. is in care of arrangements, 541-773-6162.

Share This Story