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Donna O'Laughlin, former Falls first lady
Sept. 25, 1925 -- March 16, 2006

Donna M. O'Laughlin, a former first lady of Niagara Falls, died Thursday in Lakeside Beikirch Care Center in Brockport after a brief illness. She was 80.

Born Donna M. Mann in Niagara Falls, she graduated from Niagara Falls High School, earned a degree at a business school in the city and worked as a secretary at Carborundum Co. for about three years before her marriage.

Her husband of 47 years, Michael C., was mayor of Niagara Falls from 1976 to 1991. He died in 1996.

Her daughter-in-law, Linda, said Mrs. O'Laughlin was extremely proud of her role as the mayor's wife.

"She just loved greeting dignitaries from other countries, as well as being close with the people of Niagara Falls," she said.

"We found a great picture of her greeting the president of China, the first time he had been in this country since communism [took control of China]. She loved meeting [singer] Anne Murray and all the great people who used to come to the Convention Center."

Mrs. O'Laughlin also was a member of the St. Francis Guild and worked in the gift shop at Mount St. Mary's Hospital, Lewiston.

She had been an active member of St. Teresa of the Infant Jesus Catholic Church, where she served on the bereavement committee. She also enjoyed gardening.

Survivors include a son, Michael C. of Brockport; two daughters, Rene of Boston, Mass., and Katie of Pacific Palisades, Calif.; a sister, Geraldine Furey of Niagara Falls; five grandchildren; and a great-grandson.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Monday in St. Teresa of the Infant Jesus Church, 3840 Macklem Ave., following prayers at 9:15 in Otto Redanz Funeral Home, 2215 Military Road, Town of Niagara. Burial will be in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Lewiston.

[NORHEIM]

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