NORTH NEWPORT - Donna Marie Tasker, 77, passed away unexpectedly July 22, 2014 at her Mullen Road residence, where she had resided for the past 71 years. She was born July 12, 1937, in Stetson, the only child of John and Evie (Gray) Tasker.
She graduated from Newport High School, as valedictorian, Class of 1955, and from Colby College, Class of 1959. While at Colby she received the President's Gold Medal for highest honors in scholastics and leadership. She then attended the Northern Conservatory of Music in Bangor as a voice major. Donna was an accomplished violinist and played in the Colby College Community Orchestra and was a past performing member of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra. Although a lifelong resident of Newport, she was a music teacher for over 30 years in the Corinna and Brewer school systems. Donna was an active member of the North Newport Church Association, the North Newport Cemetery Association, the Newport Historical Society, and the Old Maine Cemeteries Association.
Cats and dogs were a lifelong joy to Donna. She never turned away a stray cat from her door, and had owned many dogs over the years. Norwegian Elk Hounds quickly became her favorite dogs, and she showed several of hers at dog shows in the northeastern United States and in the maritime provinces of Canada. She was president of the Norwegian Elk Hound Rescue and Recovery of Maine and helped to find good homes for many dogs.
She is survived by an aunt, Evangeline Matijczyk of Newport, and an uncle, Leon Gray of North Carolina; and many cousins. She is also survived by many good friends who have helped her through her many difficulties this past year. She is also survived by her beloved Elk Hound Sammy and her cats.
Donna was predeceased by her father in 1976 and by her mother in 1977.
Graveside funeral services will be held 10 a.m. Saturday, July 26th, at the Tasker Cemetery, North Newport. Arrangements are by Crosby & Neal, Newport. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Norwegian Elk Hound Rescue and Recovery of Maine, c/o Mr. LeRoy Hall, 125 West Etna Road, Etna, ME 04434. Those who wish may leave written condolences at www.CrosbyNeal.com