Donna had a sophisticated view of Plainfield politics that was pragmatic and decidedly not emotional or ideological. Although she moved back to Martha's Vineyard two years ago, she continued to follow Plainfield through the blogs. I can imagine her amusement at a recent, well meaning but naive blog post describing certain New Democrats as sell outs for trying to work with Jerry Green. I had many talks with her about how I needed to make compromises or choose my battles carefully so I could live to fight another day. She was a mentor for me and her approach to service on the City Council would serve all Council members well, both current and future ones.
In her last years on Council, she was the only Republican. Her independent thinking led to some surprising collaborations with her Democratic colleagues. And it led the local Republican party to ultimately withhold its support of her - because she was independent and not strictly driven by party politics.
Donna's life had many interesting facets. She was an Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurse. I had the benefit of working with her because our employers, Muhlenberg Regional Medical Center and Bridgeway Rehabilitation Services, had clients in common. She also worked for Union County Psychiatric Clinic (now UCPC Behavioral Health) in Plainfield where one of her assignments was treating residents of the Park Hotel.
She was a true friend to my family in times of need, an example of which follows, in the words of my wife Lois:
"Our very dear friend Donna Vose passed away on Saturday May 17. She will be greatly missed. She was one of the most principled people I have ever had the opportunity to know. She was a great advocate for people who had challenges and gave her time selflessly and without fanfare. When my father had severe dementia and was hospitalized in Muhlenberg I was lucky enough that Donna was working there and she took complete charge of his care so we could rest easy that he was in good hands. When he was hospitalized unexpectedly on a snowy December night Donna and Greg came to our house at 11:30 p.m. to be with us. She called the hospital to check on him and was a great source of strength for me.
When our kitchen was remodeled she made sure to invite us for a home-cooked dinner once a week, often quite exotic fare. We had so many wonderful times with Greg and Donna, visiting on the Vineyard, restaurant reviews, politics, Plainfield parties, watching the Sopranos together every Sunday with a typical Tony Soprano dinner of spaghetti and meatballs to start, the list is endless. I will always appreciate her wit, her many strong opinions, her lack of hesitance to tell me my ideas were dumb! I am very proud to have had her as a close friend and will celebrate her contribution to our lives forever."