Obituary of Donna Kauth Gauthier
Mrs. Donna Kauth Gauthier, 90, longtime resident of Manlius and formerly of Steuben, passed away peacefully at St. Joseph's Hospital on December 29, 2023, with her family by her side.
Donna was born in Utica on January 5, 1933, to Angelo and Agnes (Dempsey) Kauth. Tragically, Donna's mother passed away when she herself was a toddler. After that, she and her four sisters were sent to the St. John’s Orphan Home to be raised by nuns. Despite the dislocation to the family, the loving (albeit strict) care of the nuns, the close bond of her sisters, and special friends, made for an otherwise happy childhood. She fondly reflected on her time she spent at "The Home", especially the Sunday drives her father would take her and her sisters on when he visited. As Donna entered her teen years, she and her sisters were taken in by family residing on Parkside Ct. and went on to graduate from Utica Catholic Academy.
Donna met Sylvester Gauthier on a blind date, and they were married on January 29, 1955, at Our Lady of Lourdes church in Utica, a partnership which lasted for over 46 years until Sylvester's passing in 2001. The couple resided on Marnie Street in Deerfield for several years before heading to the north country in 1966. They settled on an historic estate called 'Sixty Corners' in Steuben. The property bordered a state park, apple orchards, and pastoral views of the Mohawk Valley. Living there, however, was an adjustment from city life as she was often greeted by cows in her backyard that escaped from nearby pastures and for years had to cope with all the renovations needed to make the old farmhouse, they called home suitable for raising a growing family.
In addition to managing the household, Donna served the Town of Steuben as Town Clerk for several terms and was the bookkeeper for the family business (Gauthier Sheet Metal) for over twenty years. Both Donna and Sylvester were of deep faith and active parishioners of St. Ann's Church in Hinckley NY, never missing an 8:00 o’clock mass on Sunday. Despite never knowing her own mother, Donna possessed nurturing qualities needed to shepherd seven kids to adulthood and she made each one of us feel we were her favorite. She never settled in at night without knowing all her kids arrived home safe.
Surviving Donna are her children Lynn Culotta (Jeffrey) of Manlius NY, Lauren Michalakes (Chris) of Portland ME, John Gauthier (Hope) of Ft. Worth TX, Peter Gauthier (Martha) of Middletown MD, Stephen Gauthier (Theresa) of Rochester NY, Susan Gauthier (Rodger) of NYC NY, twelve grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Donna is also survived by her sister Patsy Bankert, of Schenectady NY, and in-laws Beatrice Rabbia and Raymond Pacielio, both of Utica.
Besides her husband, Sylvester, Donna is predeceased by a daughter, Patricia, and a granddaughter, Elizabeth. Donna's predeceased siblings include Donald Kauth, Joan Rolands, Shirley White, Elizabeth Davis, and Francis Kauth. Donna is also predeceased by in-laws Winifred Kauth, Raymond Bankert, Marie and Leo Bonfardeci, Arlene and Vincent Maneen, Thomas Rabbia, Laura Paciello, Doris Austin, and Louis and Mary Gauthier.
Internment is being arranged by Heintz Funeral Service, Inc., in N. Utica. A celebration of Donna’s life is being planned by the family in the spring.
The family would like to express their appreciation for the loving care provided by the doctors and nursing staff at St. Joseph’s Hospital, allowing our mother to spend her final days in comfort.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Donna's memory.To plant a beautiful memorial tree in memory of Donna Gauthier, please visit our Tree Store