Donna Elsworth-Villani passed away on Thursday, February 21, 2019 in Freehold Township at the age of 62. A beloved mother, sister, and friend, she was born and raised in Brooklyn, and settled in Freehold in 1990. She dedicated her life to helping children learn, and worked as a teacher and preschool director for several private schools in New York and New Jersey. After her retirement, Donna volunteered as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for foster children in Monmouth County, as well as at the Open Door food pantry in Freehold Borough, and with the Monmouth County Park System. She loved practicing archery, painting ceramics, singing, and cooking. She welcomed friends and colleagues into her family, and she insisted on feeding everyone who entered her home (including a few stray cats). Her kindness, sense of humor, bright smile, and beautiful voice will be dearly missed.
Donna was predeceased by her husband, Pasquale “Pat” Villani. She is survived by her daughter, Erika Villani, of Freehold Township; brother, Joseph Elsworth, of El Paso, TX; and sisters, Virginia Lawrence, of Salisbury, MD and Mary Ogrodowski, of Brick, NJ.
A visitation will be held at the Clayton & McGirr Funeral Home, 100 Elton-Adelphia (Route 524), Freehold Township on Monday, February 25, 2019 from 4:00 to 8:00 PM. Relatives and friends are invited to gather at the funeral home on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 at 9:00 AM for the procession to her 10:00 AM Funeral Mass at the Co-Cathedral of St. Robert Bellarmine, 61 Georgia Road, Freehold Township. Interment will follow in St. Rose of Lima Catholic Cemetery, Freehold. For those who desire, memorial contributions may be made in Donna’s name to the Lupus Foundation of America, P.O. Box 418629, Boston, MA 02241-8629 or to Open Door, 39 Throckmorton Street, P.O. Box 1073, Freehold, NJ 07728. For information, directions, or condolence messages to the family, visit www.claytonfuneralhome.com.