Donata Fernanda DePaola Ross was born February 16, 1941 and passed into her new life with Christ on July 27, 2023. The beloved daughter of Raymond and Frances Farrugia DePaola, she and her sister, Marie were raised in Scranton. She attended the Cabrini School followed by West Scranton High School where she was enrolled in the Commercial Course. This suited her well because in addition to becoming a licensed Radiologic Technician, she typed all her husband’s papers, kept immaculate records for both home and office and made sure every bill was paid.
Dona and Vince met in high school during their senior year in 1958. They married just after Vince’s first year of medical school and lived in Chicago, IL for 3 years while he completed his medical education. They then moved to Harrisburg, PA followed by 2 years in Colorado Springs, CO where she was a US Air Force wife and mother. Every time they moved, she lamented leaving the place she had loved, but she always grew to love the place she was in. They returned to Scranton in 1971 for Vince to open his practice and for both to care for their aging parents.
From that time forward, Dona and Vince worked to be of service to all they knew. They worked in tandem in their Pro-Life efforts through prayer, writing, presenting, and organizing. Dona was active in the Women’s Medical Auxiliary and even served as president. She was a faithful member of our parish, St. Lucy’s Catholic Church. She taught Catechism for 45 years, was a member of the Altar and Rosary Society and planned and executed many social events. She loved her involvement in the St. Raphael Society and the Enthronement Guild where she helped people learn about committing their homes and lives to Christ. She was a perfectionist and had a flare for design and entertainment.
Dona and Vince celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary on July 6, 2023. They were surrounded by friends and family as we recounted their many adventures throughout the years, watched their wedding video, looked at albums and shared stories. The things we remember most about our mom are:
Besides the great faith she lived on a daily basis and shared with her family and friends, she strove to give her family and friends the best of everything. She endured illnesses and surgeries without complaint, always “offering it up for the souls in purgatory” and others in need. Our mom was a creative, tree trimming (chopping down), bear fighting (in a pink nightgown, matching robe and slippers), target shooting, trout fishing woman who loved fine art, music and ceramics. She kept everyone around her on their toes.
Surviving are her husband, Vincent Ross and their 3 children: Serena Marie Ross, Dawn Marie Kwiatkowski and her husband Paul, and Luke Vincent Ross (Lori). Her grandchildren Angela and Nathan Kwiatkowski were the apples of her eye. In addition, she leaves behind her only sister Marie Lettieri (Joseph) and many nieces and nephews.
We would like to thank Dr. Thomas Artabane, Dr. Mario Sebastianelli and Dr. Karen Paczkowski for their excellent care over the years. We were blessed with their knowledge and love of their professions. Fr. Louis Grippe visited often, saying Mass and providing the Eucharist and the Sacrament of the Sick. He met each of our spiritual needs and we are so blessed to call him our friend. Her daily care over the past 6 years was provided at home by Lucia Cardoza. She cared for our mom and our family without fail. Sacred Heart Hospice attended her in her final days as they did 2 of our grandparents. Their kindness and attention to detail eased the stress of this time and could not be more appreciated.
If you would like to honor our mom, we would like to encourage you to contribute to Sacred Heart Hospice or to St. Lucy’s Church in Scranton.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held Monday at 11 a.m. in St. Lucy’s Church, Scranton St., West Scranton, with interment to follow in Cathedral Cemetery, West Scranton.
Family and friends may call Sunday from 4-7 p.m. at Savino Traditional Funerals and Cremation Care, 157 S. Main Ave., West Scranton, and Monday morning at St. Lucy’s Church from 9-10:45.