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Christina Ann Donnolo

Christina Ann Donnolo

December 7th, 1939 - December 23rd, 2020

Biography


Christina Ann Donnolo passed away peacefully at her home in Alpharetta, Georgia on December 23, 2020. She was in the company of her son and daughter-in-law, and two granddaughters. Chris is survived by her brother, Paul George Johnson and his wife Priscilla Johnson of Cool, California, her son Mark Anthony Donnolo, his wife Blythe Agee Donnolo, and their daughters Isabel Grace Donnolo and Olivia Anne Donnolo of Alpharetta, Georgia. She was also like a mother to her younger cousins Richard Albert Senft and Ruth Senft Noyes.


Chris battled Inclusion Body Myositis for the last four years of her life and, through it, maintained a quiet strength, a strong will to live, a love of family and friends, and a wry sense of humor until her final days. She also was able to win more than her fair share of rummy games and ended her final match in a draw with her son Mark days before her passing.


Born Christina Ann Johnson on December 7, 1939 in Norwich, Connecticut, Chris was the daughter of George Ivar Johnson and Sara Helena Schelin Johnson and sister of Paul George Johnson. Chris spent her high school years living with her family in Brooklyn, Connecticut. She graduated from Killingly High School in 1957 and then moved to Hartford, Connecticut to become an administrative assistant for a major insurance company. She married Paul Raymond Donnolo in 1960 and they resided in East Hartford, Connecticut with their son.


Chris and her family moved to Chenango Bridge, New York in 1972 where she and Paul bought and ran two Dairy Queen restaurants for five years. In cloudy upstate New York, Chris and Paul found their love for flying airplanes, with their first bicentennial edition Mooney Executive single engine plane, and then decided to head for sunnier skies in Florida. They moved to Sarasota, Florida in 1977 and built a home in Bradenton, Florida, moving there in 1978.


Chris and Paul started and operated several businesses in Bradenton including Econo Pro Pest Services. They also started Eagle Flyers, the first flying club at Sarasota Bradenton International Airport and ran the club with six planes hosting numerous flying events in south Florida and the islands. Chris also ran for office on the airport authority of Sarasota Bradenton International Airport. Chris became a member of the American Business Women’s Association, traveled the country with her fellow members, and hosted fund raising events such as the ABWA Strut in Bradenton.


After she retired and divorced from Paul, Chris moved to Alpharetta, Georgia to be with her granddaughters Isabel and Olivia as they grew up along with her son and daughter-in-law. As a grandma, her granddaughters described her as a “great” grandma. She was at every recital and school event and a big part of the girls’ lives. She had a new relationship of fifteen years with Brian Daniel Moroney who moved to join her from Syracuse, New York. Chris also worked part-time with Crossmark as a merchandiser, something she had wanted to try, which allowed her to continue to work with and connect with people, one of her passions. Throughout her life, Chris didn’t just say hello to someone. She naturally got to know them.


In retirement, Chris enjoyed life with friends and relatives and did a little traveling. She recently recalled two memorable trips. She made a surprise visit to London with her son Mark, where he walked her for days across the city in sun and rain. She never once complained about all the foot traffic, but enjoyed all the museums, pubs, and countless hours lost, trying to find their way through the side streets.


For years, Chris had wanted to take a cross-country train trip on a sleeper car. She also wanted to visit her brother Paul and his wife Pricilla in California one more time. For her 80th Birthday in December 2019, Chris and Mark flew from Atlanta to Chicago and had dinner at Shaw’s Crab House for her birthday evening. Then, the next day, boarded Amtrak’s California Zephyr for a two-day trip across Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, and California. They rode on the second story deck of panoramic observation car, ate in the dining car, and made many new friends before arriving in Sacramento and driving to Cool, California for a final visit with her brother Paul. It was a highlight for Chris and an adventure she recalled and talked about many times in the past year.


Chris will be missed greatly as a mother, grandmother, sister, and friend. She will be in our hearts always.


A memorial service will be held for Chris at Maplewood Cemetery in Norwich, Connecticut in June where she will have a final resting place near her parents.

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About

Name Christina Ann Donnolo
Date of Birth December 7th, 1939
Date of Death December 23rd, 2020
Home Town Brooklyn, CT, US 
Other City Alpharetta, GA, US 
Cemetery

Memorial

Cemetery Maplewood Cemetery
Address 184 Salem Turnpike
Norwich CT 06360
United States
Location Section 19, Lot 201

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Brenda Agee published a tribute .

What a beautiful tribute to your Mother Mark, loved seeing her life through your eyes in the photos selected. She and I shared December birthdays, we were 4 days apart. I always reminded her she was the older one!, which she would reply, “but wiser”...her dry sense of humor was what I loved most about Chris. We both shared the love of our two families, her granddaughters meant the world to her. Her smile was always her hallmark to all that knew her. Chris was so proud of her son, her whole face would lite up when Mark came into a room. A true Mother's love.
Rest in peace, dear friend....

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Jan Patrick published a comment .

Beautiful tribute of your wonderful mother. I’m so glad that I got to know her. She was always so enthusiastic and supportive of your girls and my students at our mini recitals bout deepest sympathies to you Blythe and your family

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Bob Woolley published a tribute .

Chris and Dot on the Panama Cruise

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Bob Woolley published a tribute .

It was with great sadness that I heard of Aunt Chris’s passing. I have such great memories of her over the years. She was loving, funny, smart and tough when she needed to be. My deepest sympathies to the family, who have lost someone really special. This picture was taken in 2011 on a cruise to the Panama Canal. It was a great opportunity to spend some quality time with her. Rest In Peace, Aunt Chris.

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Sheila Armstrong published a tribute .

So sorry for the loss of Chris. She and my mother were very dear friends for many, many, years. Chris will be missed dearly. Our thoughts for your family

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Michelle Seger published a tribute .

Christina will be missed. She loved her son so much and I remember her coming by the office to visit him. She told me very funny stories about Mark that I won’t repeat here. She left an amazing legacy. Of that I know she was very proud.

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Keith Piguea published a comment .

Mark,

What a wonderful tribute to your mother. She was an amazing lady and exhibited real grace to allow you that draw in the final game of rummy!

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Mark Donnolo published a tribute .

Christina Ann Donnolo passed away peacefully at her home in Alpharetta, Georgia on December 23, 2020. She was in the company of her son and daughter-in-law, and two granddaughters. Chris is survived by her brother, Paul George Johnson and his wife Priscilla Johnson of Cool, California, her son Mark Anthony Donnolo, his wife Blythe Agee Donnolo, and their daughters Isabel Grace Donnolo and Olivia Anne Donnolo of Alpharetta, Georgia. She was also like a mother to her younger cousins Richard Albert Senft and Ruth Senft Noyes.

Chris battled Inclusion Body Myositis for the last four years of her life and, through it, maintained a quiet strength, a strong will to live, a love of family and friends, and a wry sense of humor until her final days. She also was able to win more than her fair share of rummy games and ended her final match in a draw with her son Mark days before her passing.

Born Christina Ann Johnson on December 7, 1939 in Norwich, Connecticut, Chris was the daughter of George Ivar Johnson and Sara Helena Schelin Johnson and sister of Paul George Johnson. Chris spent her high school years living with her family in Brooklyn, Connecticut. She graduated from Killingly High School in 1957 and then moved to Hartford, Connecticut to become an administrative assistant for a major insurance company. She married Paul Raymond Donnolo in 1960 and they resided in East Hartford, Connecticut with their son.

Chris and her family moved to Chenango Bridge, New York in 1972 where she and Paul bought and ran two Dairy Queen restaurants for five years. In cloudy upstate New York, Chris and Paul found their love for flying airplanes, with their first bicentennial edition Mooney Executive single engine plane, and then decided to head for sunnier skies in Florida. They moved to Sarasota, Florida in 1977 and built a home in Bradenton, Florida, moving there in 1978.

Chris and Paul started and operated several businesses in Bradenton including Econo Pro Pest Services. They also started Eagle Flyers, the first flying club at Sarasota Bradenton International Airport and ran the club with six planes hosting numerous flying events in south Florida and the islands. Chris also ran for office on the airport authority of Sarasota Bradenton International Airport. Chris became a member of the American Business Women’s Association, traveled the country with her fellow members, and hosted fund raising events such as the ABWA Strut in Bradenton. After she retired and divorced from Paul, Chris moved to Alpharetta, Georgia to be with her granddaughters Isabel and Olivia as they grew up along with her son and daughter-in-law. As a grandma, her granddaughters described her as a “great” grandma. She was at every recital and school event and a big part of the girls’ lives. She had a new relationship of fifteen years with Brian Daniel Moroney who moved to join her from Syracuse, New York. Chris also worked part-time with Crossmark as a merchandiser, something she had wanted to try, which allowed her to continue to work with and connect with people, one of her passions. Throughout her life, Chris didn’t just say hello to someone. She naturally got to know them.

In retirement, Chris enjoyed life with friends and relatives and did a little traveling. She recently recalled two memorable trips. She made a surprise visit to London with her son Mark, where he walked her for days across the city in sun and rain. She never once complained about all the foot traffic, but enjoyed about all the museums, pubs, and countless hours lost, trying to find their way through the side streets.

For years, Chris had wanted to take a cross-country train trip on a sleeper car. She also wanted to visit her brother Paul and his wife Pricilla in California one more time. For her 80th Birthday in December 2019, Chris and Mark flew from Atlanta to Chicago and had dinner at Shaw’s Crab House for her birthday evening. Then, the next day, boarded Amtrak’s California Zephyr for a two-day trip across Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, and California. They rode on the second story deck of panoramic observation car, ate in the dining car, and made many new friends before arriving in Sacramento and driving to Cool, California for a final visit with her brother Paul. It was a highlight for Chris and an adventure she recalled and talked about many times in the past year.

Chris will be missed greatly as a mother, grandmother, sister, and friend. She will be in our hearts always.

A memorial service will be held for Chris at Maplewood Cemetery in Norwich, Connecticut in June where she will have a final resting place near her parents.

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Elaine Chu published a comment .

Lovely tribute to your mom, Mark. I remember how close you were with her back in art school days. Am sure that was the case, all throughout your life. Cool that she was very much a part of your own family—wife and daughters’ lives.

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Priscilla Keels published a tribute .

I am sorry to hear of Chris's passing. I knew her through a group called Women's Network and also through my work with tge state. I always thought she was a lot younger than me. Actually it was only four years. Thank you for the news of her life after she left Bradenton. I am happy that she had so many fulfilling activities. Unfortunately the friends I would tell about it are gone.

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Mark Donnolo published a tribute .

See the Mementos section for photos. Feel free to add, download, and comment here or on individual photos.

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Soheila published a comment .

What a beautiful tribute, we were all blessed to know our Angel. What a beautiful soul, I knew her for only a short period of time but it felt like forever. I fell in love with her and her wonderful family I feel blessed that I got to know her and spend the last few months of her life with her. Chris will always be in my heart she joked and made everyone around her laugh until the last days. I am so proud of all of you for taking care of Chris the way she deserved to be taken care of. One should be so lucky to be surrounded with so much love until the last goodbye. We lost Chris but I gained beautiful and caring friends like yourselves. She will forever be missed. May she Rest In Peace. Now we all have an Angel looking after us from the above

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Mark Donnolo published a tribute .

We've added some wonderful photos from Chris' childhood through to this year for everyone to enjoy. Please add your comments and upload photos you have. If we're missing a name of someone in a photo, please add it in your comments.

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