Dec. 3, 1947 – Feb. 13, 2019
Donna L. Fiorella, of Buffalo, a teacher and program coordinator in the Buffalo schools and wife of retired Chief City Court Judge Joseph A. Fiorella, died Wednesday in Hospice Buffalo, Cheektowaga, after a long illness. She was 71.
Born in Buffalo, one of three children, the former Donna Lucille DiVincenzo was the niece of Buffalo Police Commissioner Frank Felicetta. She attended Buffalo School 43 and was a 1965 graduate of Kensington High School, where she was an honor student.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from SUNY Buffalo State in 1969 and later completed a master’s degree in education at Canisius College.
She began her career teaching kindergarten for seven years at Buffalo School 85. After the birth of her children, she returned to the classroom in 1982 as a part-time kindergarten teacher, then taught gifted and talented students at Frederick Law Olmsted School 64.
In 1999, Mrs. Fiorella became program coordinator for the gifted and talented program at School 64, School 56 and a satellite school on the grounds of Holy Angels Church.
After she retired in 2004, she served as an educational consultant for three years and helped start the gifted and talented program at South Buffalo Charter School.
A member of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, she was admired for her cooking with family recipes. She enjoyed sunbathing and vacationing in Marco Island, Fla.
She and her husband met in the Hideaway, a tavern on East Delavan Avenue that featured leading local bands. They were married in 1976 and she assisted him in his political campaigns.
In addition to her husband, survivors include a son, Joseph J.; a daughter, Sarah Varallo; and nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Monday in Blessed Sacrament Church, 1029 Delaware Ave.