Donna Jean Lash (Brown)

October 24, 2021

Donna Jean Lash (Brown) On October 24th, 2021, Donna Jean Lash (Brown) 63, loving daughter, sister and friend and champion for those less fortunate, laid down her warrior shield as she crossed over to Heaven’s peace. Not only was she a warrior in her battle against the cancer that besieged her, she was a warrior for those who were downtrodden and could not speak for themselves. Donna spent a lifetime finding ways to help others overcome abuse, neglect, disabilities and poverty. Donna’s gifts from early on were, gifts of the arts. She was an accomplished vocalist, actress and pianist. During her years at Akron North High School, Akron, Ohio (1974-1977), Donna performed as the lead vocalist in several musicals and dramatic productions. Her favorites were, Carrousel, Godspell, Oklahoma and A Little Night Music. She also performed in the All City Summer Music Theater and All Ohio Bicentennial Choir. In 1977, Donna received recognition of her outstanding vocalist skills and leadership in the senior choir, earning the Pro-Música Achievement Award. Donna’s voice was such of purity, she was awarded a full 4-year scholarship to Kent State University. Her goal, to obtain a degree in music, dramatic arts and music therapy education. However, her dream was not to be. An accident changed her life, but not her resolve. In 1990, Donna relocated to Sarasota, Florida and began a career, managing several franchised restaurants. She was awarded Leader of the Year, personally, by the franchise owner and CEO. Donna received the award not only for highest quarterly sales, highest annual sales, and highest controllable net profit, but also for making a way for people with disabilities in the workplace. Donna was a warrior for people with mental and physical challenges and was committed to a safe, enjoyable, sustainable workplace for individuals with disabilities. In June 1996, Donna began a new career path as staff coordinator for four group homes with Children’s Haven and Adult Center. Then, as needs arose, she became a volunteer coach for field and track for the individuals within the group homes. And later, she also became a Special Olympics Coordinator for participating residents. Donna often said that this new work taught her more about motivation and inner strength than she ever thought possible. It was that motivation that gave her the strength, though her own physical adversity, to resume her goal of earning a college degree. In 1999 Donna received her BA and graduated with high honors from Manatee Community College in Florida. Donna continued to use her education to contribute to her newfound vision of helping and teaching others.

Donna was proceeded in death by Jackie, her partner, sweet friend and love of her live. Donna was also preceded in death by her mother, Shirley Brown; niece, Amanda Brown; grandparents, Lester and Hazel Foster and Gerald and Margaret Brown. Donna will be so profoundly missed by her father, Donald Brown; sister and friend, Kathy Lile (Bryan), beloved brother, Tom Brown; nieces, Amy Carruthers (Brian) and Katy Medvetz; as well as her cousin, friend and confidant, Kevin Lipscomb (Diana) and their children Marcus, Mitchell and McKenna, and Uncle Jack and Aunt Karen Lipscomb.

A special thank you to Debby Baldrige, a dear, lifelong friend of Donna’s sister, who became a sweet ministering angel walking side-by-side with Donna throughout her cancer journey. Also, a special thank you to the wonderful, caring staff at Hope Hospice Center, Cape Coral, Florida. Special love to Donna’s devoted friends and to their love and enduring friendship. Buffy, Vicki, Mark, Donna, Cathy and Robin and Chuck, along with many others, thank you. Donna cherished such happy memories of all of her friends and family and of many other Aunts, Uncles and cousins. Thank you for your love, Donna loved you very much.

The Celebration of life Memorial service was held in Fort Myers, Florida on Thursday, Nov. 4th, 2021, which completed the memorial services. There will not be an Ohio Celebration of Life service.

If you’d like to contribute a remembrance gift, Donna has selected the following organizations to honor her memory. Gulf Coast Humane Society – Fort Myers / 239.332.0364 / add Donna Lash to the donation information Or mail donations to 2010 Arcadia Street, Fort Myers, Fl 33916 Special Olympics Florida

Mullins Memorial Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Cape Coral, is entrusted with final care.


  1. Wanda Brooks Oct 28, 2021 at 2:55 pm

    So surprised and saddened to hear of Donna’s passing….you all are in my thoughts and prayers….love Wanda and Jim Brooks

  2. Rick & Loretta Bowers Oct 29, 2021 at 2:58 pm

    Rick and I are so saddened by Donna’s loss. Prayers for peace of heart and mind for her family and her many friends.

  3. Hannah Smith Oct 30, 2021 at 12:14 am

    Deep sympathy to family and all who loved her and the magnificent work she did for others. She will be remembered for the gifts she brought to the less fortunate and for her talents she shared with all. In loving remembrance,
    Hannah Butler Smith

  4. Robin Knoll Nov 1, 2021 at 8:46 pm


  5. Ruth (PRZEPASNIAK) Kiel Nov 1, 2021 at 11:13 pm

    So sad about her passing and sending prayers for her and families/friends! She was my sweet friend who understand my being Deaf !

  6. Nancy Crimaldi Feb 4, 2022 at 4:03 pm

    My deepest condolences to the family. 💓 Many happy memories growing up on Damon St. in Ohio . Donna was a brilliant piano student, always ready to learn. I’ll miss her on Words with Friends and my heart goes out to all who knew her.

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