Donna Marie Stearns, 66, of New Haven


NEW HAVEN — Donna Marie Stearns, age 66, passed away on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022, at her home in New Haven, Vt., surrounded by close family and friends who loved her dearly.

Donna was born in Burlington, Vt., on Dec. 8, 1955. She was the daughter of Andrew LaClair and Betty (maiden Baker) Shepard. In 1974, while living in Massachusetts, she began studying the Bible. One truth in particular that touched her heart was when she learned that God had a personal name, Jehovah. Donna was a diligent student of the Bible and loved teaching others about the Bible’s promise of a future paradise here on earth. She was baptized Dec. 26, 1976, as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Another highlight of Donna’s life was when she married the love of her life, Gary Stearns, on April 13, 1991. Donna and Gary lived in New Haven, Vt., and loved spending time together outdoors on their property. Donna was well known for her passionate love of flowers, which quickly became evident as you approached her home. As a visitor, it was rare not to receive a personal tour of her beautiful flower beds throughout the property. Donna and Gary were members of the Middlebury congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Donna is survived by her husband, Gary Stearns of New Haven, Vt.; a step-father, Gary Shepard and wife Danielle; a son, Robert LaPierre and wife Amaris and their two sons, Andrew and Kaden of Granville, N.Y.; a daughter, Chastity Taylor and husband Lance of Miami, Fla.; sister Deborah Walsh and husband Michael of Vergennes, Vt.; and a brother, Randy LaClair and wife Sandy of Essex Junction, Vt. She was predeceased by her father, Andrew LaClair of Winooski, Vt., and her mother, Betty Shepard of South Burlington, Vt.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Aug. 13, at 2 p.m., (EST) over videoconference. Zoom login information will be provided by emailing: [email protected]

In lieu of flowers, charitable donations can be made to the worldwide Bible education and relief work to which Donna dedicated so much of her life at ◊

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