Devoted wife, mother, took care of injured daughter
Donna Liberatore took care of her daughter Stacie, who suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car wreck near Mountain View on July 4, 1990, and was hospitalized for eight months.
“She was the devoted therapist, occupational therapist and speech therapist. She did a tremendous job in getting her (Stacie’s) life back,” said Ralph Liberatore, Donna’s husband of 54 years. She took care of Stacie for 10 years, he added.
Donna Liberatore, 74, of Unity died Wednesday, March 6, 2019, at UPMC Montefiore hospital in Oakland after a two-year battle with liver disease. In October 2017, she received a liver transplant. The donor was a caring friend, her husband said.
Born May 29, 1944, in Pittsburgh, the daughter of the late Joseph and Katherine Hensler, she graduated from the former St. George High School in Carrick.
She met her future husband, Ralph Liberatore, dancing at the popular Linden Grove dance hall along the trolley tracks in Castle Shannon. He was from the city’s East End and she was from the South Hills, and they fell in love, like countless other couples who met at the Grove.
Mrs. Liberatore loved playing tennis with girlfriends at the Latrobe Country Club, and she played several times a week, Liberatore said.
“She loved all her tennis friends,” Liberatore said. “She was a great person for you to be a friend with.”
Mrs. Liberatore was passionate about the arts and loved to paint, particularly in oils. She attended art classes as a member of the Latrobe Art Center and in Greensburg, her husband said.
She had a keen sense of design and ran her own interior design business with a friend in Upper St. Clair when she was in her 30s, Liberatore said. After the family moved to Greensburg in 1980, she became a travel agent with an agency based in Pittsburgh that had an office in Greensburg.
All three of her children, as well as in-laws, work in the family business, Three Rivers Orthopaedic & Spine Products Inc. in Unity.
Mrs. Liberatore loved going to the family’s vacation home for more than 40 years in Hilton Head Island, S.C.
“That was the place for summers for the family. We did Christmas and New Year’s there,” Liberatore said.
Surviving are one son, Craig Liberatore and his wife, Ellen, of Hempfield; two daughters, Sharie Rodriguez and her husband, Jorge, of Hempfield, and Stacie Hartman and her husband, Terry, of Unity; and seven grandchildren.
Friends were received at Kepple-Graft Funeral Home, 524 N. Main St., Greensburg. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Saint Vincent Basilica Parish in Latrobe. Interment will follow in Saint Vincent Cemetery.
The family requests donations be sent to Adelphoi, 1119 Village Way, Latrobe, PA 15650.
Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at 724-836-5252, [email protected] or via Twitter .