Donna O'Reilly

Obituary of Donna M O'Reilly

Donna Hillyerd O'Reilly, the bravest soldier who stoically marched through battle with cancer, left us Wednesday, November 5, 2020, surrounded by her family. She has taken a part of each of our hearts with her. Born December 23, 1956 to Edward and Gladys Hillyerd in Columbia, New Jersey, Donna Marie was the eldest of three girls and reminded us that she was the big sister that always watched out for us. Donna graduated from North Warren High School, where she played field hockey and softball as well as the flute in band. She was a ski club member. Her first car was a shiny red 1968 fastback mustang with mag wheels and V8 engine that turned boy's heads. She liked to trap muskrats in her spare time to sell their hides. Donna graduated Churchman's Business School and completed her B.S. in business management and accounting from NCB in South Dakota. It was there that Donna and Bill started dating after knowing each other at Churchman's. She started her career at Rossi Chrysler Plymouth and five years later accepted an office manager position at Phillipsburg Easton Honda and Clinton Accura car dealerships, where she worked for almost 40 years and up to the last days of her life. Donna said she loved her job because it was always different everyday. In 1979, Donna and Bill tied the knot and they moved a mile away and transformed a crooked, dilapidated house into a beautiful home filled with unique original art and inviting decor. Donna was a perfectionist and it showed in her beautiful detailed tile jobs and handiwork around the home. Donna had an incredible green thumb and was passionate about her vegetable and flower gardens. Most grounded and happy in her backyard playing in the dirt like Dad did, her dahlias and sunflowers had magnificent blooms the size of dinner plates and her vegetable garden produced a bountiful harvest every year. To express her artistic side, Donna excelled at numerous crafts and hobbies, including cake decorating, sewing and making gorgeous quilts, knitting, beading, basket weaving and card making. She left many unfinished projects that would have been stunning. Donna loved creating and collecting jewelry. Over the last decade, she looked forward to attending weekly silversmithing classes with her jewelry friends at Baum School of Art in Allentown, where she transformed semi-precious stones and silver and gold into beautiful one of a kind works of art, some of which she won awards for in exhibitions. She participated in many sporting clubs and organizations that included skiing, biking, kayaking, and antique automobiles. A person of great faith, Donna was a member of the St. Jude's Catholic Church, where she served as an Eucharistic minister, and was heavily involved with the Women's Guild and Life Choices organizations. Travel came naturally to Donna from an early age when the family would vacation in Florida every year. She always looked forward to going to see her niece and her babies in South Carolina whenever she had a few extra days free from work. Unfortunately, her family did not rest easy knowing Donna was traveling by herself and sleeping in rest areas along the interstate. But nothing bad ever happened. Donna and Bill loved to travel to their lovely vacation home in Ocean City, Maryland that provided rest and relaxation from everyday life. When they were younger, they attended NASCAR races and enjoyed trips to Florida in their RVs. A three week tour of Italy, the Alaska road trip and several excursions to Maui headlined Donna's travel adventures. Donna's facial expressions were mirrors to her soul. If you looked into her eyes, you could figure out what she was thinking without her speaking any words. If she was uncomfortable in a situation, she scrunched her nose. That aside, her smile was pure and genuine, always spreading warmth to those around her. Unwaveringly supportive and non-judgmental, Donna was the most sensitive, generous, loyal and protective big sister, aunt and friend anyone could have asked for. Donna loved sharing a delicious calamari and eggplant parmesan or crab cake dinner and a good glass of red wine or Stella beer with good friends. We know she's hanging out with dad in heaven drinking beer or wine. Most of all, Donna loved her family and animals and would do anything for them. She leaves behind her husband Bill, mother Gladys Hillyerd, sisters Rosemary Hillyerd and Eileen Plunkett (Rich), nieces and nephews Jessica Zieche (Jared), Colleen Apgar, (Joel), Patrick Plunkett, (Maureen), grand nephew Conor Zieche and two grand nieces Libby Zieche and Kaitlyn Plunkett. She also leaves behind brother-in-law Mike O'Reilly and sisters'-in-law Carel Yoder, Kathy Zetune and Mary Altorfer. Donna leaves behind her beloved two cats Lumi and Atti. She is preceded in death by her father Edward Hillyerd, three dogs and three cats, and father and mother-in-laws Bill and Jane O'Reilly. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Jude's Catholic Church or the Women's Guild at the church, Blairstown, New Jersey. A viewing will be held at Newbaker Funeral Home in Blairstown, on Wednesday November 11 from 5 to 8 PM. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place 11 AM at St. Jude's, followed by internment at the Knowlton Frame Church, 3 Knowlton Rd. A repast will follow the burial at St. Jude's Hall. Remembering you is easy, we do it every day, but missing you is a heartache that will never go away. Sent from my iPad

Visitation at Funeral Home

5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Wednesday, November 11, 2020
Newbaker Funeral Home
200 Rt. 94
Blairstown, New Jersey, United States


11:00 am
Thursday, November 12, 2020
St. Jude Roman Catholic Church
7 Eisenhower Road
Blairstown, New Jersey, United States

Final Resting Place

Knowlton Frame Cemetery
Knowlton Road
Knowlton Twp, New Jersey, United States
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