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WINCHENDON – Donna Rae (McConnell) Parmenter Bennett, 73, of 90 Ipswich Drive, died peacefully Saturday morning, February 2, 2019 in Heywood Hospital, Gardner, with her family at her side.
She was born in Boulder City, Nevada on October 3, 1945, daughter of the late Ray and Gladys Irene (LaFountain) McConnell and stepmother Julia Sawyer McConnell. Her husband, Maurice Bennett, died in 2001. A brother Carl Greenwood died in 2006 and a sister Susan Peterson died in 2018. Donna Rae attended grade school in Nevada and moved east in 1956. The remainder of her schooling was in Phillipston, Gardner and Winchendon. In 1975, she earned her GED.
Donna Rae had worked for the CETA Program and then worked for 16 years in the college business office at MWCC. Her most recent position was working as an invoice clerk at Wal-Mart for ten years, until 2003.
She was a member of First Baptist Church, where she had also been the church treasurer for eleven years and president of its Women’s Federation. She also belonged to New Shoes and Sunshine Circle, two women’s groups at the church. Donna Rae worked on many church suppers, Flea, Food and Rummage Sales, Church Fairs and served on numerous committees and church boards. She also was a member of Winchendon Grange and Eastern Star. At one time, she sang with the Chair City Pipers.
She leaves five children, Danny W. Parmenter and his wife Nicole of Winchendon, Dawn M. Parmenter and her companion Leo Dignan of Winchendon, Derrick R. McConnell Sr and his fiancé Andrea Guy of Fitchburg, son John Bukkhegyi, and Rolanda Price and her husband David of Baldwinville; two sisters, Pearl I. McConnell of Winchendon and Geraldine Howard and her husband Greg of Albany, OH and Susan Peterson and her husband John of Lebanon, MO; a brother Rev. David Ford and his wife Rebecca of the Phillipines. She also leaves 13 grandchildren and nine great grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Her family was the love of her life.
A memorial service will be held Friday, February 8, 2019 at 11 A.M. in Stone-Ladeau Funeral Home, 343 Central Street. The Rev. Jim Hinds will officiate.
A calling hour will precede the service Friday from 10 to 11 A.M.
Memorial donations may be made to First Baptist Church, 14 High Street, Gardner, MA 01440.