Photography 04

Donald D. Donermeyer

August 28, 1934 ~ July 4, 2019 (age 84)


Donald D. Donermeyer, 84, passed away peacefully at Wingate at Hampden on July 4, 2019, after a long illness. Donald was born on August 28, 1934, in Stevens Point, Wisconsin to the late Lawrence and Ruby (Hand) Donermeyer. He attended the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where he earned both his undergraduate and doctorate degrees in chemistry. While he was there, he met Mary Lynn McGowan, whom he married in 1960, and had 43 wonderful years together. Donald worked as a research chemist for Monsanto at Bircham Bend in Springfield for over 30 years, earning multiple patents for his work with polymers until he retired in 1993. After a few years of retirement, he chose to return to chemistry where he consulted with Specialized Technology Resources until he retired for good in 2002. Donald was an active member of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church in Springfield. He was a member and President of the Parish Council, Director of Religious Education, Lector, Eucharistic Minister, President of the Athletic Association, and a softball and basketball coach. Donald was a very giving and generous man, often donating to many humanitarian causes, including feeding the hungry. Those who knew Donald were humbled by his compassion that he showed toward all human beings, reminding us that little acts of kindness do matter. Donald loved to travel with his wife and later his children, having toured North and South America, Africa, Europe and Asia, where he enjoyed his favorite hobby of photography. He was a lover of art and music, regularly attending the Springfield Symphony, as well as the many band concerts performed by his grandchildren. Donald was also a sports enthusiast who enjoyed watching his children and grandchildren play in various youth, high school, and collegiate contests. Donald was preceded in death by his wife Mary, whom he lost in 2003. Donald is survived by his nine children: Daniel and his wife Lisa of East Longmeadow, David and his wife Kim of Webster Groves, MO, John and his wife Vida of Homewood, IL, Michael and his wife Lenore of Wilbraham, Paula of Springfield, Gail Donermeyer-Kulas and her husband John of Suffield, CT, Lynn Taylor and her husband John of Wilbraham, Sarah Zylstra and her husband James of Verona, WI, and Leigh Plahna and her husband Eric of Springfield. Donald will be missed by his nineteen grandchildren, who brought much joy to his life: Rachel, Eric, Evan and his wife Rachel, Timothy, Erica, Samantha, Joseph, Meagan, Kathryn, Andrew, Sarah, Ryan, Kevin, Trevor, Nicholas, Nathan, Thomas, Aidan, Daniel and one great grandson, Oliver. Donald was preceded in death by his sister Carol Sommers of Stevens Point, WI. He is survived by his sister Maryann Welp of Juneau, AK, and brother Thomas Donermeyer and wife Mary of Auburn, WA. Donald is also survived by Erv Sommers of Stevens Point, WI, whom he described as the best brother-in-law he could have, as well as many well-loved cousins and relatives in Wisconsin. The family would like to thank the aides and caregivers at Wingate at Hampden for the empathy, care and support they provided to Donald and his family. Family and friends are invited to gather on Monday, July 8, 2019, from 4 – 7 PM at Forastiere Smith Funeral Home, 220 North Main Street, East Longmeadow. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, July 9, 2019, beginning at 8:30 AM at the funeral home followed by a Liturgy of Christian Burial at 10 AM at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Parish, 417 Boston Road, Springfield. Burial will be in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Tinkham Road, Springfield. Memorial contributions may be made to Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Parish or Open Pantry Community Services of Springfield 287 State St., Springfield, MA 01105. For more information, please visit

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July 8, 2019

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Forastiere Smith Funeral Home
220 North Main Street
East Longmeadow, MA 01028

July 9, 2019

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church
417 Boston Road
Springfield, MA 01109


Gate of Heaven Cemetery
421 Tinkham Road
Springfield, MA 01129

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