Betty Donahoe, a longtime resident of Penn Yan, N.Y., died January 3, 2023, at age 87, following a brief illness.
Calling hours and a memorial service will take place at Penn Yan United Methodist Church, 166 Main Street, on Saturday, January 21. Calling hours begin at 10 a.m. and the memorial service will take place at 11 a.m. The service will be followed by a reception next door at the Memorial Building. The burial will be private. Townsend-Wood & Zinger Funeral Home is handling the funeral arrangements. Memories of Betty may be shared with her family and friends at townsendwoodzinger.com.
Betty is predeceased by her husband of 60 years, Joseph Donahoe, who died in July 2017. She is survived by their three children, Mark (Debbie) Donahoe, Jeffrey Donahoe, and Lisa (William) Flynn, and by her six grandchildren, Taylor Flynn (Cody) Jones, Paige Flynn, and Erin, Dane, Megan and Patrick Donahoe. She is also survived by three sisters-in-law, cousins and many nieces, nephews and their families.
Betty was born on January 1, 1936, in Lafayette, N.J., the daughter of Milton and Helen (Compton) Price. She graduated from Newton High School in Newton, N.J., in 1953. Betty met her husband, Joe, also a Newton High School graduate, while she was working at a law firm and he was attending Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in Ithaca, N.Y. While Joe finished his last two years at Cornell, Betty worked in the university’s annual fund office until the birth of their first child, Mark.
The young family moved to Penn Yan immediately after Joe’s graduation in 1959, when he became a Cornell Cooperative Extension Agent in Yates County. Both had grown up in rural New Jersey and so had a deep affection and appreciation for small town rural life. They quickly joined the Methodist Church in Penn Yan, where Betty had uncountable volunteer experiences from education and community-building work to helping prepare communion. She also served as a longtime local history researcher at the Yates County History Center, where her volunteerism was honored with the Arnold James Brown Potter Award in 2011.
When her children grew to school age, Betty held several secretarial and administrative jobs in the Penn Yan school district. She worked in the health and main offices at the Academy, as well as the main office at Dresden Elementary.
Betty’s hobbies and interests included reading, traveling, history, family genealogy and family reunions. She also greatly enjoyed sewing, knitting and counted cross stitch. Her steady supply of beautiful baby blankets and winter caps was intended not only for family and friends but also for those in need served by multiple community organizations.
Memorial contributions can be made to Penn Yan United Methodist Church, 166 Main Street, or to Yates County History Center, 107 Chapel Street.