It is with great sadness that the family of Donna Lee-Cassel (Way) announce her passing on Saturday, September 18, 2021, at the age of 82 at Stratford General Hospital with her close friends Harry Delea and Richard Lavery by her side.

Donna was preceded by her husband of 19 years Harry Cassel (2017), by her mother Mary (Johnston) (1996), father Donald Way (2008) brother Gordon (2013) and brother John (2015).

Donna was a world traveller and lived life to the fullest. She had numerous accomplishments and held many interesting jobs which all contributed to many cherished friendships that she made along the way.

Donna was a pioneer in the truest sense, finding herself at the University of Toronto as one of only two female candidates in her law program, during her earlier years. Later, she worked as a guard and probation officer at the Kingston Penitentiary (Women’s Wing).

Always open to new and interesting opportunities, she began working as a scheduler and in management in the music industry. Donna was involved in various artist’s concerts such as Burton Cummings and Alice Cooper, to name but a few.

Later in her life Donna worked counselling young offenders at the youth centres in Goderich and Exeter. It was here that Donna’s compassionate and no-nonsense nature was put to good use.

During Donna’s later years, she moved to Stratford and was blessed to make many dear friends. It was here that she took up poling and enjoyed keeping active.

Donna loved her family and enjoyed spending time with them. She leaves to mourn Aunt Beverly Brady (George Merson), Maureen Johnston (John), Ontario; sister-in-law Colette (Gord), Niece Christine Parsons (Paul), Nephew Martin Way (Laura) and Niece Tracy Way (Tracy) and families, Nova Scotia.

Grandson Elad who lives in the Netherlands held a special place in Donna’s heart. She visited him when her health would allow it and made many happy memories with him and his family.

Donna leaves behind long-time friend and surrogate daughter Jeannie Wordley, (Jenkins) and children, Tavis, Teagan and Rosemary with great love and affection.

Special, loving friends from Stratford who were instrumental in providing loving-care and friendship for Donna: Harry, Richard, Becky and Emily whom we cannot thank enough. Donna was Blessed to call you friends. You simply went above and beyond, and we will be forever grateful. People will look back at COVID and remember all the loss, but you will help us remember the wonderful gift of Friendship that you gave to Donna during very difficult times.

Donna also leaves to mourn her cherished friend Hope who has been a dear friend throughout Donna’s life.

Donna’s family would like to convey our deepest gratitude and appreciation for all the Doctors and Nurses and medical staff at Stratford Hospital who were instrumental in providing compassionate care to Donna throughout her time in Stratford.

Cremation has taken place and a Celebration of Life will take place on Saturday, 25th September at W.G. Young Funeral Home, 430 Huron Street, Stratford, Ontario at 2 – 4 pm. Those wishing to attend the celebration of life are asked to please call the funeral home to reserve a spot.

As expressions of sympathy memorial donations may be made to Optimism Place Women’s Shelter and Support Services or a Charity of one’s choice through the funeral home. 519.271.7411.


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      W.G. Young Funeral Home
      430 Huron Street
      Stratford, Ontario N5A 5T7

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