In Memory of




Obituary for Donna Lee Moniz

Donna Lee (Hickey) Moniz, 72, died after a lengthy illness in the loving care of her family on March 25, 2024. She was a fiercely devoted mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and partner.

The world became more beautiful when Donna was born on August 25, 1951, in Boston, MA to Kenneth and Barbara (Schmitz) Hickey. The eldest of five children, she played a pivotal role in her family who resided in South Boston until she was in middle school when they relocated to Acton, MA.

Donna graduated from Acton – Boxborough High School in 1970 and married her husband shortly thereafter. Together, they built a life in Sudbury, MA where they raised their two children and lived for over two decades. Donna’s career followed her passion for fitness and exercise. She began as an aerobics instructor at a local Gloria Stevens, worked incredibly hard, and with her grit and brute force, ended her career by managing a chain of very high-end health clubs across Boston. She overcame very humble beginnings and adversity to become a successful and strong businesswoman who was an influential and well-respected leader.

Donna’s strength and tenacity was not limited to her career. She loved and cared for her family with every fiber of her being. When she became a grandmother in 1995, that flame only burned brighter. Her three grandsons were the center of her universe, and she spent endless time with them, cared for them, and gave them everything that she had. She loved her boys and when her husband passed in 2002, she made him a promise to be enough for both, which she upheld until her last breath.

Donna is remembered for her love of pretty things, shopping, high heels, Christmas time, and 1960’s music. She loved fried clams, the water, and anything warm. She was not a fan of being cold, cats or bad weather. She wasn’t known for her cooking skills (understatement), but she would find a way to provide delicious food, always. Whenever she went somewhere, she got lost and showed up late, but when she arrived, everyone dropped everything to run to her. Her void will be just as big as her heart.

Donna is survived by her love Brian Poor of Pepperell, MA; her son, Joseph Moniz Jr. and his wife Tara of Hudson, MA; her daughter Lori (Moniz) DeWolfe of Marlborough, MA; her sisters Cynthia Connolly of Deltona, FL; Kathleen Hickey of Lunenburg, MA; Linda Wilson and her husband Stephen of Rindge, NH; her three grandchildren Evan Lindgren and his wife Abby of Petersham, MA; Colby DeWolfe of Stow, MA; and James DeWolfe of Stow, MA and by her honorary step grandchildren (Kasi, Kortney, Kay, and Matty). Donna is also survived by many nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews. Donna was predeceased by her Husband, Joseph Moniz Sr.; her brother, Kenneth ‘Bear’ Hickey, and both of her parents. Finally, Donna is survived by her grand dog Sadie, who stayed by her side and watched over her until the end.

The family shares a deep gratitude to those who helped Donna live day to day with her terminal cancer diagnosis for over four years with very heartfelt mentions to the following: The brilliant Dr. Jessica Lin, MD from the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Thoracic Cancers for the state-of-the-art treatment and care she provided, not only medically, but with true compassion where every appointment started and ended with a hug. Handsome George Lillie, RN for making Donna smile and feel so special during treatment infusions with his second to none tenderness. Diane Kazanjian, a friendly and compassionate neighbor, who provided Donna with exceptional home cooked meals consistently during all the years of her illness. Finally, the family thanks Brian Poor, Donna’s love, who lived with her, loved her, and cared for her.

“Let all that you do be done in love.” – 1 Corinthians 16:14

In lieu of flowers, it was Donna’s wish that you might consider donating to the Dana Farber Jimmy Fund.

A visitation will be held at the Acton Funeral Home, 470 Massachusetts Avenue (Rt 111) Acton, on Wednesday, April 10, 2024 from 4 - 6 PM followed by a eulogy at 6 PM. A graveside service will be held on Thursday, April 11, 2024 at 11 AM at the Wadsworth Cemetery, 74 Concord Road, Sudbury.

Family and friends are invited to a luncheon to follow at the Wayside Inn, 72 Wayside Inn Road, Sudbury, MA 01776.