Donna Lawless Fisher, 92, of Granger, IN, passed away on Monday, May 9, 2016 at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Mishawaka, IN. Donna was born at the family farm in Chatsworth, Illinois on December 7, 1923. Her grandparents and great-grandparents emigrated to the U.S. during the Great Famine in Ireland. Donna's parents, John and Agnes had six children: Eileen, Bill, Jack,Donna, Frank and Bob. Now, only Frank survives. On her 18th birthday, Donna arrived at school to find that the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor. Living through the Great Depression and World War II as a child and young woman, influenced her feelings, opinions and fears for the rest of her life. She often told us that her family never went hungry during the depression because they lived on a farm. However, she never got over her fear of a bank failure. After high school, Donna attended the University of Illinois at Normal. She obtained an Associate Degree. As a young woman, during the war and after, Donna worked at St. Mary's College, Notre Dame, Indiana as a secretary. Her aunt was a religious sister with the Congregation of the Holy Cross. Donna had a very special love for Sr. Clement, C.S.C. who, in later life, enjoyed receiving Donna's clandestine gifts of wine. While in South Bend she met Mauro Fisher, a dashing ItalianAmerican and the two were married in Chatsworth, Illinois on November 22, 1952. It was a marriage between the Italian city boy from Newark, New Jersey and the Irish country girl from the Midwest farmland. The two were married for fifty-six years. Three children were born: Margot, Mark, and Mauro, Jr. The couple lived in Akron, Ohio for almost five decades. Donna moved to South Bend at the age of 90 to be near her daughter, Margot Reagan, most of her ten grandchildren and her two greatgrandchildren. She was the School Secretary at Essex Elementary School in Akron, OH most of her career. She had many great stories about the school personnel and the students. A devoted Catholic, Donna loved President Kennedy, but sometime later, she became an enthusiastic Republican and round-the-clock FOX News viewer. What followed were lively discussions with her left-leaning progeny. After retirement, Mauro and Donna obtained their passports. They went to Ireland, Spain and Italy. Just a few months ago, Donna went to California for the second time to visit her brother Frank and niece Louisa. She went to Colorado three years ago to see her brother Bill (now deceased) and her nieces Cathie, Margaret and Nancy and nephew Billy. As evident, Donna was not stopped by age. In her 90s, she was tailgating at Notre Dame. On one such occasion, she re-united with her nephews Kevin and Tom who she hadn't seen since they were young boys. Donna highly valued education. Growing up, her children were constantly reminded of the value of education. She was very proud of every college undergraduate and graduate degree earned by her children and grandchildren. Before her death, she was aware of yet another grandchild (Annie) receiving a Master's Degree on May 10. She never lost the enthusiasm for educational success. Donna is survived by three children, Margot (Dan) Reagan of South Bend; Mark Fisher of Columbus, Ohio; Mauro (Regina) Fisher of Chicago, Illinois; her brother, Francis Lawless of Lakewood, California; ten grandchildren, Brigid (Benjamin) Reagan Balcom, Coley, Katie, Annie, and Jimmy Reagan, Christina, Arianna, Mauro, Tony and Serafina Fisher; two great-grandchildren, Henry and Rosaleen Balcom. Also surviving are nieces, Cathie, Margaret, Nancy, Louisa, Peggy and Betsy and nephews, Billy, John, Tom and Kevin. Loved ones who preceded her in death were, her husband Mauro; her parents, John and Agnes Lawless; her sister, Eileen Davies; her brothers, Jack, Bob and Bill Lawless; her granddaughter, Lauren; niece, Pam; and nephews, Pat and Jim. Donna loved to laugh, often laughing so hard she would cry. Her delightful laugh was infectious. Her family will miss that the most. At the age of 92 1/2, Donna was driving, volunteering for Catholic causes, shopping for her greatgrandchildren and enjoying her life. Spending time with her family was her great joy. She loved her family, faith and Irish Heritage. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 2:00 p.m., Friday, May 20, 2016 in the Church of Our Lady of Loretto, Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, Indiana, with Rev. Paul Doyle, C.S.C. officiating. A visitation will take place from 1:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m. Friday in the church. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to: Sisters of the Holy Cross, 100 Lourdes Hall, Saint Mary's, Notre Dame, Indiana 46556, or online atwww.cscsisters.org. Kaniewski Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. To send online condolences, please visit kaniewski.com
See photo here.