October 4, 1939 – June 12, 2015
It is with profound sadness that we announce the death of Donna on Friday, June 12, 2015 in her 76th year. She died at the Juravinski Hospital after a difficult illness borne with grace and courage. Donna was born in Hamilton, the adored only child of Frank and Helen Williams (Mitton). Married for 34 years, predeceased by her soulmate, Mervyn Sergeant (1995). She was a tender and devoted mother to Stephen (d 1962), Laura, Myles (Sonia Anand) and Matthew. Loving and proud grandmother of Anjali, Anand and Sachin. Much loved by her adopted grandchildren Elaheh and Shahab Mirzad, her sisters [in law] Ruth Hess and Gwen O’Neill and many friends. Donna was guided by her Christian faith and lived in the Light and lived Love. Passionate in her calling as a nurse and professor, she provided exemplary care to patients and creative mentorship to students both in Canada and overseas. She loved life and took great joy in entertaining, reading, gardening, travel, hiking, photography and writing poetry. Deep appreciation for the exceptional care provided by every member of her outpatient and C3 Juravinski teams. Friends will be received by the family on Monday afternoon and evening from 2-4 and 7-9 at the Cattel, Eaton & Chambers Funeral Home, 53 Main Street, Dundas. Donna’s Service will be held at ST. PAUL’S UNITED CHURCH, 29 Park Street West, Dundas on Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. Private interment. In lieu of flowers, donations can be directed to McMaster University (School of Nursing), St. Paul’s United Church or Trees for Hamilton.
So sorry to hear about your mother’s passing this morning. I will always remember her warmth and kindness. I am thinking of you all and hope that your memories of your amazing mother will bring you much joy and peace. Her wonderful spirit is embracing you all as you journey through your grief. Love and light to all of you. Love Edith
this message is for Myles. I am so sorry you lost your wonderful mother. I remember asking her one day where you were. It really hurts to lose a Mother. You will be in my prayers. Ann(Telecare)
We were so very sorry to learn of Donna’s passing. Her enthusiasm for teaching and learning and her sense of humour will be missed by many, both here and abroad. Please accept our sincere condolence and know that you all are in our thoughts and prayers. With heartfelt sympathy, Anita
We are so sorry for your loss. You are all in our thoughts and prayers.
Carole, Christopher, Harrison and Ryder
For my friend Laura, and her family.I am sad for this great loss and remember being so inspired when I learned about those magical secret trips you did together. What richness and such an example of how to be. Much love, Tara
You are now home at last with Our Beloved Lord Jesus. You will be rejoicing in seeing Mervyn and Stephen again.
What an exemplary life you have lived. I am especially thankful for the wonderful conversations we had by phone last fall as we shared so much in common. You will be sorely missed by your devoted family and I send them my condolences. I have been deeply moved by your final wishes of singing praises to God in anticipation of your home going and in thankfulness of His loving care of you while here on earth. I salute you! Joan Chute McMaster 61 Nurse
As one of Donna’s nursing classmates at McMaster U. those many years ago, we have known each other since we were 18, and the bonds of our class have been very close over all these years. We will all indeed miss our beautiful friend with whom we have shared so much joy and experiences in life’s journey. Her spirit will live on in all who knew dear Donna.
It has been many years since our paths have crossed. I wish to convey my condolences upon the death of your Mom. I have seen you as a very strong member of your family at which your Mom must have felt so proud. Your strength will be so important to your family at this time of grieving.
Donna … without a doubt a inspiration to everyone she met. She radiated love, warmth, kindness, thoughtfulness and was understanding and compassionate. It has been an honor and privilege getting to know Donna these past few years through a writing group in which we all bonded by sharing and reflecting on life. Peace of Christ be with the family. Annette
I was very happy when Donna went to Pakistan in the late 1990s to teach nursing to women. She had great courage in going to such a volatile country and giving women the opportunity to follow their dreams, despite the threat of extremist groups. She also told me once that she had the opportunity to meet many Afghan refugees. She always put the needs of others above hers and that is something that we should all do. Rest in peace, Donna. My sympathies to her son Matt (my friend) and his two siblings.
Dear Sonia, Myles and family,
We are saddened to hear about the passing of Donna. We understand that she was the force behind developing a female soccer program in Dundas. As we have a daughter in the program we are very grateful for all her efforts. May this time be filled with wonderful memories of your mother, as well as peace and gratitude.
With deep sympathy,
The Purnell family
To Laura, Myles and Matthew,
Your mom and I became friends when we were about 10 years of age. Although we did not see each other through later years, I would follow her career by keeping in touch with mutual friends. I admired and respected her for her dedication to patients here and for her encouragement to nursing students overseas.
I extend my heartfelt condolences to you all.
As lifelong friends and neighbours with the Sergeants, we are so saddened to learn of Donna’s passing. Your family and ours grew up together and shared so many joys and great friendships and the nurturing of love and talent. Donna’s passing leaves a great void in our hearts and on Little John Road. She is truly one of the most loving and gracious ladies I have ever met, and I feel blessed to have known her and your lovely family. On behalf of all the Cohens, formerly of 5 Little John, we send our deepest love and sympathies to all of you. Sincerely, Joanne Cohen
We are so very sorry to hear of Donna’s passing. We knew Donna in Karachi and have fond memories of the few weeks we both lived in the Aga Khan Guest House. She had a lovely soft voice and a great sense of humour as we shared stories of life and work in general and Pakistan in particular.
Our condolences to her family.
Jeff and Jenny Rees
So sorry to hear of your Mom’s recent death. I met Donna many years ago while we both worked at Macassa Lodge. I will always remember her dedication to residents and staff, her encouragement, and especially her wonderful laughter! I remember one particular beach party night at Lake Erie and she taught us all how to twirl, which we did with great gales of laughter, realizing what a great tension reliever. I have used that many times over the years too A wonderful gift . Sincerely and God Bless all of you.
To Laura, Myles and Matthew. I am truly so sad to hear about your mother’s passing. She was a beautiful woman with a kind heart and a big smile. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you and I am so sorry for your loss. Love Brenda
We are very sorry for your loss. We wish you strength and courage at this very sad time. You will all be in our thoughts and prayers.
Ali, Bennett and Max
We were very sorry to hear of Donna’s passing. She was a wonderful person and we enjoyed her vitality, humour and warm friendship over many years. She handled the good and bad with equanimity but warm compassion. We remember her visit with us in China when we heard firsthand some of her experiences in Pakistan. Tim and Nancy
On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Ecumenical Support Committee for Refugees (ESCR), I would like to express our deepest condolences to Donna’s family. She was successful in her efforts to bring to Canada two Afghani siblings, who were permanent residents and who could not travel back to Canada after their mother passed away in Iran. For years she kept in contact with the young siblings giving them moral support and giving them home. Donna was tireless in her advocacy and fundraising efforts and five years later those siblings returned to Canada. The ESCR supported and worked with Donna during these years. She leaves a legacy of love and dedication.
She will be deeply missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. Nora