Linnea Marie Ogren Donahower was born May 23, 1939 in Williamsville, NY, the beloved daughter of Mandor and Viola (Albert) Ogren. She died at home on May 17, 2023, just a few days short of her 84th birthday.
Linnea graduated from Williamsville South High School in 1956. Unlike many young women of her generation, she continued her education, graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Centenary College for Women (now Centenary University) in Hackettstown, NJ. She returned to her hometown to work for IBM, and shortly thereafter met her husband, Clifford W Donahower. They married on November 24, 1962 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Buffalo.
Linnea was a proud member of the Junior League of Rochester, the RIT Women’s Council, and a number of volunteer organizations including Council for Adoptive Parents and the Rochester Area Multiple Sclerosis Society. In 1982, after many requests from friends to share her amazing recipes and signature dishes, she and her dear friend and neighbor, Dianne Ostberg opened a catering business. Linnea was extremely proud of her Swedish heritage, and took every opportunity to create elaborate meals of traditional Swedish foods.
Predeceased by her parents and infant brother Thomas, Linnea is survived by her husband of 61 years, her children Karen, Carl (Cathy Spaiches), and Thomas (Sonia Kozlova), her beloved grandchildren Olivia, Spencer, Owen, Drew and David. Also left to mourn is her brother, Eric (Margo) of Loudon, TN. She is also survived by her dear WHS friends Reeny Miller and Deanna Hewson, and her college roommate Sandy Appleby. Everyone who met her loved her sweet smile, and her eagerness to do for others. Her family was everything to her and she wanted nothing more than to be at home, with her family, until the end. She got her wish.
A service to celebrate her life will be held at 11:00 on June 24th at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Fairport, NY. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Upstate NY Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society, (1000 Elmwood Ave, Suite 900, Rochester, NY 14620), are appreciated.
What a beautiful and kind person. Have many fond memories. Sympathy to all of you!
Kent and Linda Garner
As a child, I always found Mrs. Donahower to be one of the kindest, most loving adults I knew. I looked forward to seeing her every Sunday at BLC. As an adult, I grew even more impressed by her amazing strength and courage, as I came to more fully understand how she persevered through health challenges with the brightest, boldest spirit I’ve ever seen. Hands down, one of my most favorite people! Blessings and love to all. xo -Kara (Schmidt) McBurney
I fondly remember Linnea from BLC. I especially remember the lunch group from way back. We moved from Fairport in 2000 but thought of her often. Barb & Keith Kuehn
We left Fairport and BLC in 1989 and have many fond memories of those years. When we think of Linnea we remember her sunny smile and joyful personality.
God’s peace to Cliff, Karen, Carl, Thomas and their families.
Hoby & Drevvi Lowry