Steven E. Donner

Steven E. Donner - Rochester, NY - Rochester Cremation

Steven E. Donner, 45, of Rochester, NY, formerly of Busti, NY passed away unexpectedly of natural causes (Heart) on April 12, 2021. He was born on December 12, 1975 in Jamestown, NY, the son of Paul and Marsha Donner.

Steven grew up in Busti and graduated from Southwestern Central School in 1994 and RIT 1998. After Graduating from RIT, he remained in the Rochester Area working for Harris Insights and Analytics.  Steven was gifted in many areas.  He was a poet, a songwriter, an artist, an illustrator, and a writer of short stories, children’s books and short plays.  Several of his plays were performed at the Geneva Theater. He was also a leader of Finger Lakes Writers For Literacy Group. He was an active member of his local church (Bethlehem Lutheran Church) and his passing is a huge loss to both his family and his community that he served for most of his adult life. His prolific collection of works both published and unpublished survive him and will be cherished by his family and community for many years to come.

Besides his parents, he is survived by 3 sisters: Tammy (Tom) Woodruff, of Lakewood, NY, Tiffany (Jamie) Barton, of Jamestown, NY, and Tasha (Patrick) Ecklund, of Hampstead, NC and many nieces and nephews.

A private service will be held at a later date and interment will be in the Busti Cemetery. Memorial Contributions can be made to The Geneva Theatre Guild, P.O. Box 424, Geneva, NY, 14456 or a Charity of your choice.

18 Condolences

  1. John Schmeelk on April 22, 2021 at 9:51 am

    This is truly sad news. As a frequent substitute on his usher team I was looking toward the day when we would work together again. His loss is great and his memory will be cherished.

  2. David Moczarski on April 22, 2021 at 7:46 pm

    I am truly saddened to hear of the passing of Steve.
    I had the privilege of serving on his Usher team.
    Steve’s humor was unique, his attention to detail was perfection, and his talents were many. I was fortunate to know Steve and he will be truly missed.

  3. Steve Wozneak on April 23, 2021 at 8:06 am

    Sorry for your loss. Prayers for Steve and your family

  4. Greta Hall on April 23, 2021 at 10:00 am

    I remember Steve as a kind and gentle soul who welcomed me to worship at the church I used to attend in Fairport, NY.

    My thoughts and prayers go out to his family as they.mourn his sudden passing.

  5. Terri Dustin-Hodges on April 24, 2021 at 3:25 pm

    Such a shock to hear of Stevens passing! I remember him when he was just a little boy singing along with the radio while I hung out with Tammy.
    My deepest and sincerest condolences to the entire Dinner family.

  6. Maddie Buffan on April 28, 2021 at 1:09 pm

    Our deepest sympathies for the family. Steve and I remained in close touch after I left Harris back in 2017. He was at our wedding, had the chance to meet our daughter, and even enjoy some of our honey from our backyard hives. We shared recipes and I always looked forward to his Christmas card every year. He was such a kind, creative, and generous spirit. His early departure will leave a large hole in my heart and in the hearts of all who he inspired in his lifetime.

  7. Alison Read Bushell on April 29, 2021 at 10:26 am

    Steve shined so brightly during his too-short time on this Earth. I’m truly heartbroken. Such a talented, caring and passionate person–he never ceased to amaze me. While we worked together for just a few years, he made such a positive impact on me and those around us. Steve could truly handle anything that was aimed his way–and he handled it with finesse–always going above and beyond with tons of great ideas. I thank his family who helped shape him into the amazing person who changed the way I think and whom I’ll never forget.

  8. David Cooper on April 30, 2021 at 1:27 pm

    Steve’s passing is a shock, and I will forever miss him. His creativity and fearlessness were a continuous inspiration. He was immensely talented in so many disciplines yet never stopped teaching himself new capabilities. A true artist with a passion for storytelling.

    Steve was also as true a friend as one could have. He was always thinking of others and his kindness and generosity were unmatched. You could expect some creative and personal holiday or birthday gift to be accompanied by a handmade card or some other personalized memento, likely with a pun involved; he was the king of puns.

    I’m going to miss you terribly, Steve. Ann and I are heartbroken and send our deepest sympathies to your family.

  9. Laurie McGrath on April 30, 2021 at 4:36 pm

    I always appreciated Steve for being a kind, helpful, intelligent, and super-creative person. We didn’t have the pleasure to collaborate on projects, but his beautiful spirit and unique outlook will never be forgotten. My thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family.

  10. Derek Maurer on April 30, 2021 at 4:54 pm

    Steve’s kindness, generosity, and passion for inclusion will be deeply missed. In our time as coworkers, I don’t remember a day that he wasn’t either organizing a group outing or hand-crafting a birthday/holiday gift. He inspired me to think less about myself and more about how I could make someone else’s day special. He will be deeply missed and my prayers are with his family and friends in this difficult time.

  11. Lynn Zambito on April 30, 2021 at 9:07 pm

    To hear of Steve’s passing was a heartbreaking shock. I worked with Steve at Nielsen/Harris and he was always going above and beyond in multiple ways – whether it was staying late to finish a work project, putting together a birthday lunch outing for a coworker, or organizing after-work sporting events so we could all hang out and have some fun. He was so inclusive and just wanted everyone to be part of the good times… and our group had a lot of really good times together. He was a true creative genius and clearly deeply cared about others. Steve will be very much missed and I’ll always have such fond memories of him. My most heartfelt condolences to Steve’s family.

  12. Jane Fitzgerald on May 2, 2021 at 8:51 am

    I am so sorry to hear of this loss. I worked with Steve at Harris/Nielsen and he was always kind and made an effort to include everyone.

  13. Karen Kennedy on May 3, 2021 at 1:11 pm

    Steve will forever have a warm, special place in my heart. I have fond, fun memories of Steve as a co-worker and friend and I’m saddened to hear of his passing, especially so young. My condolences to the family of a very special, kind, talented, and generous man.

  14. Jen Rice on May 3, 2021 at 2:17 pm

    I was so saddened to hear of Steve’s passing. We worked together for several years before realizing we both grew up in Chautauqua County! I was always blown away by his numerous creative talents and the extent of his generosity is hard to put into words. Steve spent so much of his time doing things to make others feel noticed, included, or simply bring them a smile or a laugh…all in quiet or understated ways. I still have several years worth of rice in my pantry from Steve as my name provided an easy target for his wit 🙂 He was a wonderful person and truly someone who’s presence made the world a better place. He will be missed and fondly remembered.

  15. Jamie Lehr on May 4, 2021 at 9:00 pm

    I am truly saddened to hear of Steve’s passing. I worked with Steve at Harris/Nielsen and can’t think of a time when Steve wasn’t planning some sort of office event. Steve always made the events unforgettable and fun. He always made the most amazing puns and had an spectacular memory. He never missed a holiday (big or small) or birthday (for myself or my two nephews) and sent the most thoughtful gifts and/or messages. I will remember Steve fondly and I’m certainly going to miss this clever holiday puns he could make out of my last name. My condolences to Steve’s family during this difficult time.

  16. Jade Moser on May 5, 2021 at 10:50 am

    I had the pleasure of working with Steve for many years at Harris, when I first started at the company we had neighboring cubes and he made it a point to be sure I was included in all lunches and activities. Steve was truly the most thoughtful and creative person I have ever met. It amazed me how his creativity was able to manifest in so many unique forms. He had an amazing ability to remember every detail of everyone’s preferences and would always pick-up or create a memento that reminded him of us. We were so lucky to have a coworker who went above and beyond to make sure everyone was happy and included. Steve will be greatly missed.

  17. Maddie Buffan on May 10, 2021 at 11:21 am

    With a blessing from Steve’s parents, friends of Steve’s from Harris/Nielsen have started a fundraiser to memorize Steve on a seat plaque at Geva Theater. Please see the GoFundMe link for more information and details. Any donation amount will help us reach our goal to honor Steve at a theater close to his heart. Thank you!

  18. Serina Tetenov on September 20, 2021 at 11:18 pm

    Oh my goodness I am just learning of this today. I am so very sad and my heart goes out to the family. Steve and I knew each other from RIT and he somehow found me on Twitter in March 2021. We texted and chatted almost daily until about a week before he passed. We had not spoken since April 6. I then started a new job and finally reached out to Steve again in August. When he did not reply I thought it was out of the ordinary. I did a search this evening and saw this. I am utterly heartbroken. I just want Steve’s family to know how much of an amazing friend he was. In the short time that we reconnected we shared recipes and sent pictures of so many meals to each other – including Easter dinner. I am definitely grieving right now and need to come to terms with such a devastating loss. I will cherish the memories of us at RIT and remember Steve’s jokes and impromptu poetry. I have never laughed so much than when we hung out together. He touched my life in such a way that I will never, ever, forget. I miss you Steve.

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