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Donna Danella Thomson, formerly of Gloucester City, GCHS Alum, Practical Nurse, SS Peter/Paul Parishioner

Donna Danella Thomson, passed away peacefully with her family by her side, on Wednesday, December 28, 2022.  She was 79.

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Donna was raised in Gloucester City, NJ, and was a proud graduate of St. Mary’s Grammar School and Gloucester Catholic High School (Class of 1962). Following high school, she attended Mount Saint Mary's College in Newburgh, NY. She was a devout Catholic and loved her faith. While at Mount Saint Mary's, Donna studied as a novitiate as Sister Mary John Vincent. Before her final vows to become a nun, God called her to other ministries. Several years later, Donna married her late husband, John “Duff" Thomson who passed away in 1981.


Throughout the years, even though she endured the struggles of being a single parent, Donna perpetually made sacrifices and never wavered from her ministry to be of service to others. She took night classes, while working a full-time job, to earn her Licensed Practical Nurse certification. Donna specialized in caring for the poor, the abandoned, and the elderly. Most of her patients had no visitors nor family. Donna ensured something special was done for each of her patients on holidays and their birthdays, always at her own expense. She also volunteered her time preparing meals for the disadvantaged and teaching literacy to adults who could not read. Donna held great admiration for Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, St. Francis of Assisi, and Mother Teresa and sought to emulate their devotions with her life’s actions. In 2014, Donna was honored to be selected by the pastor of Saints Peter and Paul Church in Washington Township, NJ as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. Whenever Donna joined family on vacation, everyone knew she required the location of the nearest Catholic church for her to attend Sunday Mass. She prayed the rosary early each morning and late at night. Family, friends, and even strangers were blessed to be regular beneficiaries of Donna’s benevolent actions. She truly treasured her opportunity to help those in need and never sought appreciation nor credit for her deeds. Donna’s greatest love was for her children, grandchildren, and family. There was nothing she enjoyed or valued more than time spent with them. Donna’s last moments surrounded by her loving family was God’s greatest earthly gift to her for a life well lived.


Donna’s family has strong roots, over 120 years, in the Camden Diocese. These roots are particularly strong at St. Mary's Church in Gloucester City, NJ. As with her grandparents and parents, Donna celebrated all her sacraments at St. Mary's and ensured the same for her own children. She wished for her final religious service to be at the same location of her baptism no matter where she was residing. For Catholics, the Funeral Mass carries great importance, as it represents the soul being returned to God and passing over into the afterlife. Donna’s loving family and friends will celebrate and honor her life of grace during this Requiem Mass ceremony.


Beloved wife of the late John R. “Duff" Thomson. Loving mother of J. Scott Thomson (Zabrina) and Dr. Christine (Thomson)Taylor (Dr. James Taylor). Best grandmother to Jack and Drew Thomson, Blair, Brooke and Ian Taylor. Dear sister to the late Diane (Danella) Cunliffe. Dear sister-in-law to Eric Cunliffe and Arlene (Thomson) Wilson, late Richard Wilson. Cherished aunt to Ken (Gwen), James (Connie), and Robert (Beth) Cunliffe, Steven Wilson and Sandy (Wilson) Grasso. Lifelong friend to Joan Derringer, Elsa (Marino) Phillips, and many, many more.

Farewell Tribute

Relatives and friends are invited to attend her visitation at the McGuinness Funeral Home (Washington Township, 573 Egg Harbor Road) on Tuesday, January 10, 2022, from 6 PM to 8 PM and again on Wednesday, January 11, 2022, from 9 AM to 10 AM. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday at 11 AM at St. Mary's Church, 426 Monmouth Avenue, Gloucester City, NJ. Interment will follow at New St. Mary's Cemetery, Bellmawr, NJ.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Discovery Ministries