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Chris Metcalf

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A week ago, Donna Blake, my godmother and the mother of my pseudo-little-sister, passed away after a hard battle with cancer. Until the very end her spirits were high and she fought with all she had.

From the news site:

Donna M. Blake, 55, of Apalachin, N.Y., passed away on Sunday, Jan. 15, 2006 at Lourdes Hospital, Binghamton, N.Y.

She is survived by: her husband of 24 years, Donald Blake; her daughter, Karyn Blake, currently a student at Clarkson University; her brother and sister-in-law, Dr. Jack and Sharon McWatters of Maryland; her two sisters and brothers-in-law, Barbara and Clarence Randall of Towanda and Beverly and Jim Orshal of Sayre; and her numerous nieces and nephews.

Donna was born Aug. 7, 1950 in Sayre, the daughter of the late Harold and Leatha (Traver) McWatters.

She graduated from Sayre High School, Class of 1968, continued to earn her bachelor's degree in mathematics from Clarion College in Pennsylvania and later earned her master's degree in computer science from Binghamton University.

She was an employee of Lockheed Martin Federal Systems in Owego, N.Y., for the past 30 years, and served as chief information officer for the past two years.

Donna was a great family vacation planner and always enjoyed outdoor activities such as skiing and kayaking with her family. She enjoyed reading best-selling novels, was an avid fan of football and baseball, and especially the Binghamton Mets.

Donna was always dedicated to her family, and was a loving wife, mother, sister, aunt and friend.

A memorial service will be held Tuesday, Jan. 24 at 10 a.m. at Richards Funeral Home, Route 17C West, Owego, with the Rev. William Wells, pastor and family friend, officiating.

Friends are invited to call Monday, Jan. 23 from 6-8 p.m. at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in memory of Donna may be made to the American Cancer Society, the Lance Armstrong Foundation - - or the Relay for Life.

The Blakes were like a second family to me while I was growing up. They welcomed me into their home and treated me as if I was one of their own. I hope we can all keep Donna, along with her daughter Karyn and husband Don in our thoughts and prayers in this difficult time.