Betty Donato of Samish Island, WA, passed away on March 9th 2014 at Highgate Senior Living in Bellingham, WA. She was 91.
The Guest Book is expired.
Betty was born to Simone and Elizabetta Dilluvio in Queens, New York on July 22, 1922. She was first of 3 siblings: Lucy (NY) and Sal (d.).
In 1943 Betty married an artist, Frank Donato. For the next thirty years Frank did art for magazine ads in Manhattan while Betty was homemaker-in-chief and quintessential Italian mom raising a boy and two girls in Queens. They later moved "out-on" Long Island but both families stayed close.
Then, in the late '60s, son Tony discovered the 4th Corner on a junket while serving in the Navy. He bought land near Van Vandt and, on discharge, moved west with his wife, Arlene and infant daughter. Betty and Frank came for a visit. Though not intending to move here, they bought a lot on Samish Island as an investment. Daughters Rose and Liz, however, were just out of college and foot loose. They decided to follow Tony out west leaving Frank and Betty a tough decision. Frank was up for a new adventure but Betty was torn between joining her kids or staying near her family and friends in New York. The kids always came first.
Once here, Betty and Frank's family circle grew. Not quite the extended Italian tribe she'd left in New York, they were enough to fill the space under an Italian mom's wings and more than fill the seats at her triple-extended dining room table. With family and friends to care about and feed, Betty was in her glory. She would say, "Eat...You're hungry". Thanksgiving dinner began as a seven course Italian feast...as an appetizer. Turkey dinner with all the trimmings followed...including dessert; pumpkin, apple, or cannoli?
When not caring for family, Betty cared for customers at Dett's Toys and Hobbies in Mt. Vernon and worked nearly a decade at Pay and Save. Once retired, she volunteered as an elementary school classroom aide for the Burlington/Edison district. After moving to assisted living she kept an eye on other residents, alerting aides of anyone needing help.
Frank and Betty were together for 70 years. Frank died Feb. 25th 2014. Betty left us just 12 days later on Mar. 9th 2014. Her work here was done and she can rest in peace knowing she is loved.
Their son Tony died in 2006. They are survived by daughters Rose Martinez and Liz Cunningham (both of Bellingham), four grandchildren; Tanya May (NY), Brandon (NY), Michael (CO) and Natalie Donato (WA); and 5 great-grand children.
Family and friends are invited to a service for Betty on Saturday, March 22th at 11:00am in Mount Vernon Cemetery, 1200 E Fir St, Mount Vernon, WA.
Arrangements are under the care of Kern Funeral Home.
You can share your memories of Betty and sign her online guestbook at www. kernfuneralhome.com
Kern Funeral Home
1122 South 3rd Street
Mount Vernon, WA 98273