We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Riverview Abbey Funeral Home
Donna Brinati passed away peacefully in her sleep on July 7, 2022, at the age of 93. Before leaving a large community graced by Donna’s love, a dear friend serenaded Donna with a personalized rendition of “You Are My Sunshine.” To know Donna was to be embraced in her light.
Donna was born on November 22, 1928, in Portland, Oregon. Her parents, Katherine (Holmes) and Frank Pike, also had two other daughters -- Leila (Roache) and Kay (Headley). Donna married Bruno Brinati in 1950. They fostered two children and were active in their church, with Donna serving as President of the Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women. All the while, Bruno and Donna also ran an Italian “well known deli in the downtown Farmer’s Market of yesteryear.” Donna’s spaghetti sauce recipe is passed on to a precious few.
Bruno’s passing in 1970 started another life chapter. Donna and Ann Kendrick became adopted sisters, and both engaged in adventures for almost 40 years. They traveled the world, reveled in its wonders, and invited new-found friends to the lovely home that they built in Shelton, Washington. Donna designed the home and landscaped the property, which overlooked the Puget Sound. Their home, dubbed La Mancha, became an exclusive Bed and Breakfast (Donna’s culinary skills were Michelin worthy) to those fortunate to receive an invitation. One visiting friend was so impressed by Donna’s design skills that he hired her on the spot to work as a supervisor for Neil Kelly.
Donna’s remodeling career spanned 30 years, including owning her own remodeling and sales business while achieving her certification as a Certified Kitchen Designer. She applied her talents to modify the standard floorplan of Donna’s and Ann’s retirement home at Mary’s Woods in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Aptly named Villa La Mancha, their redesigned home became a model for prospective Mary’s Woods villa neighbors to tour.
Mary’s Woods was the perfect setting for Donna’s next chapter. She became an avid golfer, discovered her natural talent with water colors (Ann proudly compared her with “Grandma Moses”), and was active in the Mary’s Woods community where she served on many committees. Devoted to her church, Donna served as sacristan among her many church activities.
Of greatest significance during this time was Donna’s adoption of her dearest and last fur buddy, Woody, a West Highland White Terrier. Donna and Woody were like Velcro. Donna was most proud of serving on the Mary’s Woods committee that conceived and designed the Healing Garden at Mary’s Woods. A sculpture of Donna’s pal Woody lies in the Healing Garden, welcoming visitors to a special spot radiating gratitude and hope.
A curious and hidden gift Donna had was an ability to build connections. Like “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” in which connections track back to Kevin Bacon through actors and films, “Six Degrees of Donna Brinati” would have countless souls from all walks of life on multiple continents track back to Donna. Donna’s distinctive design in the game would have souls connect with each other as well – at peace and never alone in Donna’s love and light.
Memorial Service Mass on August 4th, at 11:00a.m. In the Chapel of the Holy Names at Mary’s Woods, 17400 Holy Names Drive, Lake Oswego. Parking at Marylhurst Commons, at Marylhurst College, with Mary’s Woods shuttle to Provincial House where the chapel is located.
Donna specifically requested no flowers be sent to the funeral. She suggested donations to the Mary’s Woods residents fund in lieu of flowers.
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