Wanda Eileen Donnan

May 01, 1924 ‒ February 18, 2021

Mansfield, Ohio

Wanda Eileen Donnan (Hess) born May 1, 1924 in Mansfield, Ohio to Ladoris and Wade Hess, transcended this world at the young age of 96 5/6ths on February 18, 2021. She is preceded in death by her beloved husband of 60 years, Robert A. Donnan, her brother, Lowell Hess, and sister, Norma Fogel. She is survived by her only son, Dean (Cheryl) Donnan, two grandchildren, Scott (Jennifer) Donnan and Beth Donnan, and three great grandchildren, Clayton, Lane, and Kennedy Donnan.

Wanda lived in Mansfield her entire life. She was both a tomboy who could play baseball better than most boys her age and a budding young dancer/musician. At an early age she began dancing, playing the piano, and singing. In lieu of playing professional baseball, Wanda chose music as the passion that powered her soul until the last few weeks of her life.

For 80 years Wanda was a prominent member of the Mansfield music community. She began singing in choral groups with LeMoine Durr from 7th grade through High School. After High School, she attended Wooster College for two years, majoring in voice and piano. In 1946, she married her High School sweetheart once his Thunderbolt fighter squadron returned from Germany. She sang with the Frauen Chor, was a paid soloist at First English Lutheran Church, where she was a member for many years, performed in the Starlight Review at Kingwood Center, and held roles in local musical/operatic productions under the direction of Robert Cronquist, including the opera Rigolleto at Lakeside, Ohio. From 1965 to the mid 1970s, she was a paid soloist and quartet member at Temple Emanuel. She was a lifetime member of the Mansfield Sappho Club and the Ohio Music Teachers Association. She also served on the Inner City Church Council of Mansfield for a number of years.

Wanda also taught private piano lessons for 20 years as well as played the piano/organ for local churches. She was the pianist at the First Church of Christ Scientist on Millsboro Road for many years. In 2008 she became the organist for the Mayflower Congregational church, where she played until the age of 94. After retirement, she maintained her connection with Mayflower. She continued playing the piano daily at home up until a matter of weeks before her death.

Along with her music career, she remained a loving, devoted wife/companion to her husband and mother to her son. Wanda embodied the seven spiritual virtues of wisdom, courage, justice, self-control, faith, and love—and sometimes an eighth, lesser known virtue some call stubbornness, while others call determination. She will be greatly missed by many, yet her legacy remains in the hearts of those who knew her. A Celebration of Life will be held at Mayflower Congregational Church in early June 2021. The exact date and location will be posted in the local paper.

Richardson Davis Chapel of Snyder Funeral Homes in Galion is honored to serve the family of Wanda Donnan, and condolences may be made to them at www.SnyderFuneralHomes.com.

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  • Sending my sympathy and prayers for Wanda and her family. She was a wonderful person! We were blessed to be invited to her 95th birthday party at her church where she played the piano to entertain us.

  • Dean,
    We were so sorry to read about the loss of your mother. After reading her obituary I understand your gift of music and your talent to play in the bell choir at St. Peter’s Church. We pray that your sadness will soon be replaced with wonderful memories.

    Richard and Terrie Duffey

  • Loved loved loved Wanda. She was an amazing lady and friend. We will miss her so much, but we know how much she missed Bob and her little brother. She talked about them all the time. She was just brilliant and opionated, knowing her own mind of what she believed was right and what was wrong. We loved our talks and we loved our friendship. God bless Dean, Cheryl and grandchildren during this time. Remember the good times, the laughs and the music.

  • I had the pleasure of knowing Wanda when I was just a rotten kid at First English Lutheran church. Later, much later, it was my privilege to be her dental hygienist for many years. I always enjoyed taking care of her smile. We both loved the fact that she was just one day older than my dear mother( who still lives). May our Lord and Savior grant you peace and comfort as you savor many memories of days gone by. With sympathy,

  • Dean, I just saw your mom’s obituary today, I am so very sorry, she was a one of a kind “mom” she was a great woman, my heart is just breaking . So many great memories of your family, if you see this please call me 419 545 8442, Trent

  • Dean, I just saw today your mom’s passing, I am so very sorry, she was a one of a kind “mom” she was a great woman, my heart is just breaking . So many great memories of your family, if you see this please call me 419 545 8442, Trent