Cover photo for Lawrence Donna's Obituary
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1956 Lawrence 2021

Lawrence Donna

December 31, 1956 — July 27, 2021

Lawrence (Larry) Donna, loving uncle, sibling, and friend, passed away on July 27, 2021, with family by his side.  Larry, a proud life-long Vermonter, was born on December 31, 1956 in St. Johnsbury, VT to Roger and Jane (Wilkins) Donna.

He attended Catholic Central School for all eight grades.  He graduated from St. Johnsbury Academy as a proud member of the fun-loving class of 1974.  He always enjoyed reconnecting with his classmates at reunions. Larry appreciated the education he received and maintained strong relationships with many members of his Academy class and was a member of the 1842 Circle.

Nick-named “Lumpy” by his friends and co-workers, Larry began working in the grocery business in 1972.  He obtained his real estate license in 1982 and became an active member of the Realtor organization.  In 1995, and two subsequent times after that, Larry received the Realtor of the Year award from the Northeast Kingdom Board.  Two years later in 1997, he served as President of the Vermont Association of Realtors and later as Director for the National Association of Realtors.  He also received the Omega Tau Rho award for lifetime recognition.

Following his career in real estate, Larry started work for the Vermont Agency of Transportation in the Rail Section as a Property Management Specialist.  In 2010, Governor Jim Douglas gave Larry’s office an award for demonstrating commitment, talent, and leadership in public service. After a severe stroke in 2010, Larry returned to work at the State in 2011, where he worked until his retirement in 2019.

Larry volunteered for several organizations, often taking leadership roles when called upon, including the Waterford Volunteer Fire Department, The Lyndon State College Foundation, St. Johnsbury Chamber of Commerce, and Northeastern Vermont Development Association.  A proud member for over 35 years, he frequented and supported the St. Johnsbury Elks Lodge in his spare time where everyone knew him as “LR”.

Larry enjoyed spending time at hunting camp with family and friends (even when he could not remember to bring his gun).  Hunting at camp was optional for him; socializing and a good debate were preferred.

Even after his retirement, he maintained his love for Vermont Railroad history, often spending his free time analyzing his collection of maps and memorabilia.  Larry also enjoyed the Red Sox, attending games when he could and always watched them play on television.

Larry maintained close relationships with many of the over 35 cousins from the Donna and Wilkins families.  In addition, he had great love and admiration for his nieces and nephews for whom he would often care for as his own.

Larry was preceded in death by his parents, and many aunts and uncles.  He is survived by his siblings; Stephen Donna, David Donna (Stacey Barber), Susan Donna (Gary Sanborn), and Linda Donna Hartwell (Tim Hartwell).  He is also survived by his nieces and nephews; Anne Marie Donna-Weed (Sean and Christian), Paul Donna (Anna Raboin), Camille Donna, Timothy Hartwell, and Christopher Hartwell (Kaytlynn Epstein).  He also leaves behind several life-long friends.

Special thanks to Dan Wyand, P.T. & Associates, Dr. Logan Pearl, Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital, Caledonian Home Health Care & Hospice, and St. Johnsbury Health & Rehabilitation for their care.

Visiting hours will be held on Sunday, August 1, 2021, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Sayles Funeral Home with an Elks Memorial Service at 6:30 p.m.

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Monday, August 2, 2021, at 11 a.m. at St. John the Evangelist Church in St. Johnsbury.

Larry asks that people bring a photo to the viewing hours and share a story with family and friends.

Memorial contributions can be made to Mt. Norris Scout Reservation Alumni Association, 113 Center Road, Essex Junction, VT 05452, or to Silver Towers Camp, P.O. Box 166, Ripton, VT 05766.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Lawrence Donna, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, August 1, 2021

4:00 - 7:00 pm

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Mass of Christian Burial

Monday, August 2, 2021

Starts at 11:00 am

St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church (St. Johnsbury)


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