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Donna Rae LaPolt

It is with great sadness to report that Donna Rae LaPolt, passed away on December 3rd, 2022 at 11:10 am after being diagnosed in November with Leukemia. She was 79 years old. Donna passed peacefully at Westchester Medical Center surrounded by her husband, her three children, one of her grandsons, and one of her nieces. Prior to her passing they played her favorite Beatles and James Taylor songs, shared lots of happy memories and stories, and let her know she was loved by many and will be missed greatly.

Donna was born to Raymond Cross and Gertrude Metnech, in Liberty, Sullivan County, NY. She attended Fallsburg Central School graduating and then went on to get a culinary degree at the State University of New York, College at Delhi where she graduated in 1962. Having won First Place in a pie baking contest in 1962 at the NY State Fair, she was known for being an excellent cook.

She married the love of her life, Robert (“Bob”) Allen LaPolt, son of Dorothy Hanofee and Raymond LaPolt on September 12th, 1964 at the Catholic Church in Hurleyville, Sullivan County, NY. They were married for 58 years. In 1966, Donna and Bob moved to New Paltz, NY and raised three children. She is survived by her husband Bob; her children, Dina LaPolt, Wendy Goodman-LaPolt, Glenn and Melissa LaPolt, and Corinne LaPolt; her six grandchildren, Josie, Brian, Tessa, Ella, Wilson and Buddy, her sisters Nancy Saunders and Patricia Halprin, her brother, Raymond “Renno” Cross, and numerous nieces, nephews, and grandnieces and grandnephews.

Having lived in New Paltz for 58 years, Donna was a community leader having spent many years volunteering her time for many local organizations including St. Joseph’s Church, the New Paltz Sea Hawks Swim Team, and the New Paltz Youth Center which she co-founded in the late 1970’s and is still in existence today. She was also a community organizer and activist in the areas of social justice, LGBTQ, and women’s rights. In addition, she was a painter and owned and operated a ceramic studio for over two decades as well as served on the New Paltz Rescue Squad for 32 years where she became an EMT and later a paramedic. She was loved and respected by many and was often considered a “second mother”, a “surrogate grandmother”, or safe-haven confidant to numerous people in the community.

The family asks that no gifts be sent but instead requests donations to the Saint Joseph’s Church Food Pantry https://stjosephnewpaltz.org/food-pantry-1. Checks should be made out to St. Joseph’s Church and please write “Food Pantry, Memory of Donna LaPolt” on the memo line. Donations of food can be brought to the Food Pantry directly during the hours of 11am to 12pm (except Thursdays) or donations to Planned Parenthood (www.plannedparenthoodaction.org).

Viewing hours will be Sunday, December 11 from 1pm to 4pm at the Copeland-Hammerl Funeral Home located at 162 S. Putt Corners Road New Paltz NY 12561.

There will be a Celebration of Life Mass in honor of Donna at St. Joseph’s Church in New Paltz on Monday, December 12 at 11am followed by a reception downstairs immediately following the service.

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- Geddy Sveikauskas, Publisher

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