Donna Birch Obituary

Donna Elaine  Birch
Donna Elaine Birch

October 24, 1964 - January 19, 2020
Born in New London, CT
Resided in Groton, Connecticut


Heaven gained another angel when Donna Elaine Birch passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, January 19, 2020. She was born on October 24, 1964 to Donald and Anne (Denison) Birch, and resided in Niantic, until she went to live in Groton with Judith Ann Odell, who became a second mother to Donna.

Donna attended local schools and graduated from the Little Red Schoolhouse in New London in 1986. She participated in the Special Olympics and worked for Seabird Enterprises for many years until health issues forced her to stop.

Donna's outgoing personality and sense of humor made a lasting impression on everyone she met. She liked to jokingly tease the people she loved and, if she called you "Meatball", with that twinkle in her eye and infectious laugh, you knew she liked you. She was the campground sweetheart and made many friends at Witch Meadow, when she and her family were seasonals there when Donna was a teenager. It was at Witch Meadow where Donna was first introduced to what would become her trademark for the next 40 years - a deck of cards! She was taught to play solitaire and spent countless hours playing the game. She became proficient at shuffling cards long before the casinos came into the area. She never went anywhere without her deck of cards and even sneaked a deck past doctors and nurses when she went into the hospital for a procedure. Nobody knew she had them until, in recovery, she reached under the blankets and pulled out her deck of cards much to everyone's surprise.

Although Donna faced many health issues and obstacles, she faced each like a trooper and never let anything keep her from enjoying all the adventures and trips she would go on with Judi and her daughter Lisa. With the two of them, Donna enjoyed many day trips to various local attractions, took several cruises, and trips to Vermont and Texas, where they spent this past Christmas. On rainy days or when she wasn't feeling well, Donna would watch movies on DVD. Her favorite movies included "Grease", "Mama Mia" and "Frozen", and she knew all the words to the songs (and most of the dialogues) in them. She loved to dance and recognized the first chords of many Michael Jackson songs.

Donna definitely was a character and will be missed by many friends, aunts, uncles and cousins. She will be especially missed by her father, Donald Birch, and sister, Barbara Callahan (Scott), all from Niantic; her brother, or as Donna called him, "Brudda" Brian Birch (Rob Ward), of Ashaway, RI; her three nieces, Alyssa Birch (Dillon Winkler), Jessica Callahan (Oliver Banks), and Shelby Birch, or "Sherry" as Donna insisted on calling her from the day she was born and with whom she shared an extra special bond, which can be seen by the many selfies the two would take whenever together. She also leaves behind her great niece and nephew, Savannah Birch and Mason Winkler, as well as her caretaker and second mom for the past 21 years, Judith Ann Odell, of Groton, and her daughter, Lisa, who was Donna's best friend and "sister". Donna was welcomed in heaven by her mother Anne (Denison) Birch and Alice Denison, who passed in June 2019 and December 2018, respectively, as well as her paternal grandparents, Albert and Evelyn Birch.

Calling hours will be held 5-7 p.m. on Friday, January 31, 2020, at Neilan Funeral Home, 48 Grand Street, Niantic, CT. Burial will be private at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation in Donna's memory to Special Olympics or Seabird Enterprises.




Calling Hours
Thomas L. Neilan & Sons East Lyme Funeral Home
48 Grand Street
Niantic, CT US 06357
Friday, January 31, 2020
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

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