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Donna M. Heavey, retired sixth grade teacher

Donna M. Heavey

Feb. 4, 1947 - March 23, 2017

Donna M. Heavey, a teacher devoted to lifelong learning, died Thursday in Buffalo General Hospice due to complications from breast cancer. She was 70.

Born in Roscoe and raised in Suffern, the former Donna Lupo married and lived her entire adult life in Buffalo after coming to the city to attend SUNY Buffalo State College in the fall of 1965.

Mrs. Heavey worked in Buffalo Public Schools for more than 30 years, first at School 66 as a library aide and a Title I reading aide. She taught sixth grade at Southside Elementary School from 1984 until her retirement in 2014. A winner of the state Elementary Social Studies Teacher of the Year, she was a font of knowledge and knew how to make learning impactful and fun. Parents and students alike maintained ties with her long after pupils left her classroom.

Well known for her extensive work on curriculum and assessment, she taught classes at the Buffalo Teacher Center, created city-wide exams and served on state Education Department elementary social studies committees as well. As a member of the Social Studies Support Team, Mrs. Heavey conducted numerous staff development sessions for colleagues within Buffalo public schools, as well as presenting at several regional and state conferences.

An extraordinarily passionate reader and avid collector, she was acknowledged locally and nationally as an expert in and collector of antique celluloid advertising buttons, vintage lunch boxes, rare paper dolls, porcelain dolls and most of all, Disneyana. She began her mint collection of Disney memorabilia as a young child.

Her knowledge of film and television was broad and deep. She had an encyclopedic mind and could recall and share vast amounts of information about movies, directors, actors and film making.

Survivors include her son Jeffrey; two sisters, Ann and Sara-Jo, and two grandchildren.

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