Cynthia Dean Crowley Donachie of New Hartford, New York passed away at home on May 15, 2017. She was 74.
Born in 1942 to Susanna Gorczynski Crowley, she was raised by her mother in Holyoke, Massachusetts where she attended parochial school and developed a lifelong commitment to learning. On a scholarship basis, she graduated with a BA from the College of Our Lady of the Elms, and then received a M.S.Ed. from Duquesne University. During her lengthy teaching career, she engaged in multiple graduate studies and received certifications in Reading Instruction and Gifted and Talented Education. Cynthia was a dedicated and passionate elementary school educator and retired in 2008 from the Rome Central School District where she was employed for the majority of her over thirty years as a teacher.
Married June 27, 1964 to Stephen James Donachie, they settled in New Windsor, NY and then relocated to New Hartford in 1986. In addition to raising three children and providing innumerable guidance and support to her four grandchildren, Cynthia was an ardent believer in community service. In New Windsor, her involvement in P.T.O.s and St. Joseph's Catholic Church evolved into a run for the town council. Through her trademark determination, she initiated a door-to-door campaign that culminated in an eight-year tenure marked by a broad openness to the concerns of the town's residents. In New Hartford, she continued her civic engagement in a variety of pursuits, including as a dedicated supporter and organizer of the Mohawk Valley Learning in Retirement program at SUNY Polytechnic Institute. In her retirement, Cynthia received great joy serving as a volunteer reading tutor for adults with disabilities and as an English as a Second Language tutor for recently arrived immigrant students of the Utica City School District. Over the past year, she had also begun to train and serve as a volunteer for Hospice.
Cynthia enjoyed being active and throughout her life undertook many new pursuits. In her early adult years, she learned to play the piano and became an avid skier and tennis player. She loved to swim and her close proximity to the Adirondacks initiated a love of kayaking. She relished the myriad of peaceful trips she and Steve made throughout the serene waters of upstate New York. In later years, she flirted with golf and the guitar, and then found her most recent passion: bridge. She greatly enjoyed being a student of the game, teaching others, and embraced the many new friendships made in the process. Cynthia also loved to read and was active in numerous book clubs. Additionally, she loved to travel and experience new places. Along with making annual family vacations to Cape Cod, she travelled extensively. Many memorable trips were made with her husband, and after his passing, she continued to explore. Recent forays to Alaska and then to Puget Sound last month, were emblematic of her independence.
Cynthia was predeceased by her husband of forty seven-years, Dr. Stephen James Donachie. She is survived by her children, Stephen and wife Wendy of Montgomery, NY; Susan D'Angelo and her husband Drew of Liverpool; and Robert Donachie of New Hartford; and grandchildren, Joshua and Andrew D'Angelo and Kayleigh and Brennan Donachie. Her love for all of her family was unequivocal and grew in recent years to include Joshua's girlfriend, Amanda Cyr. She was also immensely proud of Joshua's impending college graduation. She will be deeply missed but her love and example will endure.
A memorial service will be on Saturday, June 17 at 2:30 at the Dimbleby, Friedel, Williams & Edmunds Funeral Home, 13 Oxford Rd., New Hartford. Calling hours will be from 1:00 to 2:30 prior to the service. The family would like to invite family and friends to offer special memories and thoughts as part of Saturday's service.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a charity of your choice in memory of Cynthia.