NEWPORT & DEXTER - Donna Louise Friend, formerly Mrs. Herbert J. Wark, USAF, died unexpectedly at her residence October 25, 2014, after celebrating her 75th birthday. She was part of the large farm family of Charles P. and Melba L. (Neal) Shaw of Detroit. She was born October 25, 1939 in Pittsfield. She attended Maine Central Institute and graduated from dental school working briefly as a dental assistant. Donna had a long and productive life within and outside of Maine. She was an active scout leader as an Air Force spouse during the Vietnam War era when many servicemen were serving overseas. After retiring, Herb and Donna returned to the area of his birth, Dexter, Maine. Together they opened " The TV Man" repair shop on lower Main Street. Donna also worked with Susan Abel at the Dexter Library and with Harvey Hatch at the Hatch Insurance Agency. She was an avid gardener and achieved the title of Master Gardener. She became part of a group of women who taught local area grade school children the importance of soil conservation. She also assisted the children in planting marigolds in Dixie cups for their Mother's Day gifts. She was also active in multiple organizations both locally and statewide working for various charities and the Republican Party. In particular, she was a member of the Sebasticook Garden Club, the Red Hat Society, and past president of the Newport Women's Club, but was equally happy to work behind the scenes. Donna was also a Past Lady Potentate when her second husband Gilman N. "Gilly" Friend was Potentate of the Anah Shrine in 1976. In her later years she became less active in formal organizations, but remained working with local groups providing letters and care packages providing comfort and encouragement to service men and women serving overseas. Donna will be sorely missed by friends and family.
She is survived by 2 sons, David "Rusty" and wife Arline Wark of Germany, John Wark and girlfriend Tessa Robinson of Skowhegan; a daughter Cindy and husband Carl Rossow of Colorado; and a sister, Lucy Moores of Waterville; 8 grandchildren; 7 great grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. Donna was predeceased by her siblings, Lionel, Norma, Christine "June", Geraldine "Jerry", Charles "Spike", and Lucille.
A memorial service will be held at 1 P.M. Friday, November 7th, at Crosby & Neal, 117 Main Street, Newport, with Pastor Al Worden officiating. Burial will follow the service at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Dexter. Memorial donations may be made to the Sebasticook Garden Club, c/o Mrs. Terri Crosby, 117 Main Street, Newport, ME 04953. Those who wish may leave written condolences at www.CrosbyNeal.com