Donna M. McClusky died on October 31, 2023, in Richmond, Maine.
(The following was provided by Kincer Funeral Home in October 31, 2023:)
Donna Mary (Dean) McCluskey, born April 15, 1951, passed away on October 31, 2023 from advanced lung cancer, surrounded by her family and other loved ones. Her passage was peaceful.
Donna grew up in Freeport, Maine, and attended the Freeport school system, graduating from Freeport High School in 1969. Donna had worked for her parents at the Village Shoemaker for much of her teen years. She went on to work at the Bowdoin College Library for two years before leaving to work at L.L.Bean in 1973. She continued her employment there until 1978, when she was hired by Bath Iron Works in data entry. She left her job at BIW in 1981 and began day-caring for many of her former co-workers’ children, as well as others.
Donna continued her day-caring for several years until she accepted a position at the Issac Umberhine Library, in Richmond, Maine, a position that she would hold for over thirty-four years.
While at the Umberhine Library she undertook several programs designed to introduce literacy to children in the form of weekly “Story Hours,” at which she would personally read to the children, and other various projects. Every year, she would work tirelessly to create floats for the “Richmond Days” and organize and judge a “Children’s Parade.” Along with several other engaged townspeople, her voice and fundraising efforts helped to fund the new Richmond Library at its present location on Main Street in Richmond.
Donna’s efforts to promote childhood literacy had a tremendous impact on the children of the community. Some of her favorite moments as librarian were when now grown adults came in and expressed their joyful recollections of their days at the library and how they loved her kindness, warmth and interest in their welfare. She also loved her adult patrons with many of them becoming close friends who shared their lives with her in conversation. Her impact on the overall community is impossible to quantify, but if the testimonials pouring in after her passing are any indication, she has touched, and enhanced, many people in our small town, and beyond. She was powerfully, and widely, loved.
Donna, (or “Rosie,” as her husband Rick and others often referred to her) loved to dabble in crafts and over the years joined forces with her daughter, Becky, her granddaughter, Hannah, and most recently, her great-granddaughter, Maeve. She created individual cookbooks based on her mother-in-law’s recipes and filled them with pictures of the nieces and granddaughters, with their grandmother to personalize them. She possessed an incredible knack for creating the items that warmed the heart and soul of those fortunate to receive them such as quilts, cookbooks, ornaments and many other items designed to lift the spirit.
Donna was predeceased by her parents, Donald and Jacqueline (Condon) Dean, as well as a son, Richard McCluskey II, and a sister, Linan (Dean) Simpson. Survivors include her
husband of fifty-three years, Richard McCluskey, daughter Rebecca (McCluskey) Dubeau of Norway, and a son, Daniel McCluskey of Raymond, Maine. Also surviving are grandchildren Hannah McCluskey, Joseph McCluskey, and great-granddaughter Maeve McCluskey. She is also survived by brothers David Dean of Leeds and Gregory Dean of Richmond, Maine.