May 17, 2022

Donna Lou Reel


Donna Lou Reel, 85, devoted nurse and loyal friend, died peacefully on December 2, 2021 under the care of the dedicated staff at Grace Barker Nursing Center in Warren, RI. Donna was born in Wheatland, Indiana but was a long time resident of Rhode Island. She was predeceased by her Mother- Mildred Therlac, her father- Luther Reel, her brother, Ron, her beloved friend- Kate Maher and her Step-Father, Bill Greenwell. She is survived by her cherished friend Liz McGrath, as well as, Dr. Virginia Parker, Sally Ewalt, her dear niece- Diana Wilz of Indiana, many relatives she deeply cared about in Indiana, her treasured friends in Ireland and kind neighbors and friends here in Rhode Island.

Donna was a devoted nurse at Rhode Island Hospital for decades and before that at hospitals in other states. She graduated from St. Vincent’s Hospital School of Nursing in Indianapolis; received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from R.I. College and her Master’s degree in Nursing from Salve Regina University. She was formerly a Little Sister of the Poor and thoughtfully practiced her religious beliefs throughout her lifetime. Donna found personal renewal in spiritual events, listening to opera, reading histories and mysteries, an avid sports fan and in wide ranging travel with her friend Kate. Donna had an enthusiastic interest in gardening and a deep empathy for rescuing cats. She was a generous benefactor to religious groups and humanitarian causes. She was particularly helpful to the work of the All-Volunteer service for the struggling and homeless guests who are part of the Better Lives RI (Formerly PICA) Soup Kitchen program who is deeply grateful to Donna and Kate for their decades of kind-hearted support.

Her funeral will be held on Tuesday December 7, 2021 from the W. RAYMOND WATSON FUNERAL HOME, 350 Willett Avenue, Riverside with Calling Hours from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Martha’s Church, Pawtucket Avenue, East Providence at 11 a.m. Burial will follow in Gate of Heaven Cemetery.

Flowers are respectfully omitted. In lieu of flowers, it would be greatly appreciated that donations be made to the RI Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals, 186 Amaral Street, Riverside, RI, 02915 or Better Lives RI, (Formerly PICA) P.O. Box 5639, Providence, RI, 02903-0639.

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