Donna Grihin

Obituary of Donna J. (Russell) Grihin

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Donna (Russell) Grihin, 82, passed away peacefully in the presence of family on August 6, 2022 at Crouse Hospital. Born in Syracuse on July 20, 1940, Donna attended the former Central High School. Graduating early, she went on to work at Merchants National Bank, where she was employed for more than 25 years. After sending her daughter off to college, Donna felt inspired to pursue her own dream of becoming a teacher. She accrued enough college course credits in the following years to obtain the equivalent of a Bachelor’s degree and then earned her teaching certificate. She was employed by the Syracuse City School District for several years, most notably at Nottingham High School. Donna also worked at various points in her long career at Centro, AAA and Excellus Blue Cross. She continued her love of learning by attending courses at Onondaga Community College well into her 70’s.


Donna was a devoted student of literature. She especially loved reading and analyzing the classics: novels and short stories by 20th century American authors, Shakespeare’s plays, and works of the great Irish poets and novelists (James Joyce being her favorite). Her love of great writing extended to the theater, appreciating both Broadway and Syracuse Stage experiences. Donna enjoyed traveling, particularly to the Outer Banks of North Carolina with special friends Chris and Lynn, and also taking day trips to the Eastern shores of Lake Ontario.


By nature, Donna was a force to be reckoned with: spontaneous, adventurous, mischievous, generous at heart, often unpredictable and contrary, rarely apologetic, always mysterious; a consummate rule-bender, a collector of things, and a great keeper of secrets. She was the embodiment of her star sign, Cancer the Crab, and she lived her life true to her proud Irish and English heritage.


Donna was predeceased by her parents, L. Russell Jackson and Mary Brown Jackson, her sister, Eileen Bailey, and her infant daughter, Nancy Jeanne Russell. Surviving are her husband of more than 40 years, Alex Grihin; daughter, Mary Beth Carmen and son in law, Pete Carmen; stepson, Dimitry Grihin; grandchildren, Maggie Carmen, Jack Carmen, Nikolai Grihin, Logan Grihin, Zane Grihin; niece, Susan (Steven) Senn; nephew, Craig (Danielle) Bailey.


Calling hours will be 5-7 pm on Thursday, August 25th at the Edward J. Ryan and Son Funeral Home, 3180 Bellevue Ave in Syracuse. Private burial at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Dewitt.


Donations in Donna’s memory can be made to the Food Bank of CNY or the CNY Cat Coalition.


“She lived and laughed and loved and left.” James Joyce

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Calling Hours

5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Thursday, August 25, 2022
Edward J Ryan & Son Funeral Home, Inc.
3180 Bellevue Avenue
Syracuse, New York, United States
(315) 468-3443
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Donna Grihin

In Loving Memory

Donna Grihin

1940 - 2022

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