Donatella Cardillo Young

Donatella Cardillo Young

Sunday, September 9th, 1934 - Friday, July 24th, 2020
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Donatella Cardillo Young of New Smyrna Beach passed away peacefully on July 24. Born on September 19, 1934 in Bronx, NY, Dona was predeceased by her parents Angelina and Peter Cardillo, her husband William C. Young Jr., and her brother Gabriel Cardillo. She is survived by her daughter Maria LaCentra Van Warner (Rick) and her four grandchildren Peter (Taylor), Richard, Robert and Julia Van Warner.

A published author and lifelong teacher, Donatella taught adult writing classes in New Smyrna Beach until early 2020, when she suffered a stroke. She was politically active throughout her life, co-founding the National Organization for Women chapter in Rochester New York and fighting for other social justice causes. Donatella worked tirelessly on behalf of others while serving as a paralegal for the city of Rochester’s legal social services division, and through numerous volunteer activities. Before joining the city of Rochester, she worked as a paralegal at the law firm of Harris, Beach and Wilcox.

An avid traveler, Donatella’s first novel, Unchartered Journey, was inspired by a trekking trip through Nepal. She also brought a Buddhist folk tale she learned on the trip to life by writing a children’s book, Four Friends. Donatella authored another novel, A Perilous Friendship, published in 2010. She wrote her first children’s book, The Yellow Coat, in 1995, portraying a young girl as a central character in the traditional Christmas story.

A few years after the death of her husband William Chase Young Jr., Donatella moved to New Smyrna Beach, FL to be closer to her daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren. She continued working as a substitute teacher, community activist and teaching her first love, writing. Some of her adult students went on to become published writers and playwrights. She shared her passion for travel and adventure with her grandchildren, who individually accompanied her on overseas trips.

Donatella will be laid to rest in a private burial service next to her late husband William in Fayetteville, NY.
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Barbara Moore

Posted at 08:37am
We, the women of Greater Rochester NOW, are indebted to her for her early feminist work, and are striving to uphold her values. We are sure Donatella would be pleased to know that the chapter is still going strong.

Mary Lou Bittle-DeLapa

Posted at 03:01pm
I have truly missed Donatella's wonderful HUGS since she left Rochester!
Mary Lou Bittle-DeLapa

Marge miller

Posted at 10:13pm
I was so sorry to read of Dona’s passing. I worked with her for many years at the Department of Social Services, and she became a good friend and confidante. She gave me a signed copy of her first novel and a book of haiku that she wrote. Her family was so important to her and we shared many tales of grandchildren. Condolences to the family.

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