On Thursday, September 17, 2020, Donna Ringelstein (née Fiduccia), loving wife, mother, aunt, grandmother and great-grandmother, passed away unexpectedly at the age of 75.
Born and raised on the North Side of Chicago, Donna moved to nearby Naperville, IL with her family in 1972 and was involved in many aspects of the community there for the next 40 years. She moved to Wilmington, NC after her semi-retirement in 2012.
Donna was a career Registered Nurse for more than 45 years. She held various positions from hospital work in her early professional years, to school nursing, private practice and caring for people in their homes in her later professional years.
To keep active while being in tune with her two sons’ activities, she became a school nurse where she enjoyed helping special needs children and adults. Later she became a school nurse at the local community college where she was invigorated by connecting with young adults. Donna went on later to manage private medical practices, including one that specialized in travel medicine and infectious diseases including HIV/AIDS. In Wilmington NC, she continued her work part-time by providing medical services to people in economically disadvantaged areas of the local community. Additionally, she worked for the New Hanover County Board inspecting healthcare services in local nursing homes.
Donna’s philanthropy was extensive through constant volunteerism, including serving on various boards in her local community. Donna also served on the Board of Directors of the local community hospital where she helped to spearhead its transition at the time into a new era led by a private non-for-profit entity which helped it grow into the expansive campus we see there today.
Donna has a passion for politics on a Local, County, State and National scale. As a devout Democrat, Donna enjoyed spirited conversations which with her friends ‘on the other side of the aisle’. She was passionate about equality for women, civil rights and the ability for all Americans to access affordable high-quality health care.
Donna loved to read – usually taking on multiple books at a time. She was also an avid quilter and fine craftswoman with a needle and sewing machine. She leaves behind a dedicated circle of quilting friends here in Wilmington. She was also a tremendous cook and baker – extending the legacy of her Italian heritage. Beyond her family, many friends and neighbors benefited from her culinary treats.
She is survived by her husband Richard Ringelstein, children, Daniel (Sabine - div. / Thuy) of London, UK and Todd (Sandra) of Mooresville NC, nephew Scott Link (A. Jean) of Jasper GA, niece Laura Link Clark (William) of Wilmington NC, Grandchildren Théa and Talia Ringelstein, Clarke Ringelstein, Lauren Link Totten (Kyle) and Jared Link (Wafa), Benjamin and Michelle Clark, Step-Grandchildren Micah Lipps and Sgt. Michael J. Felgenhauer and Great-Grandchildren Mia Rafield and Jackson Ocasio. Donna is proceeded in her death by her sister, Dianne Link, mother Angela Brogni-Witschi and father John B. Fiduccia.
Visitation and Funeral Services will be held on Thursday, October 1, 2020 in Naperville, IL. A Celebration of Life event will be planned for Donna to take place in the Spring of 2021, more information to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Donna’s honor to the following charity: Red Cloud School, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota (https://www.redcloudschool.org/givetoday)
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