Donna B. Bryant, 77: Dedicated clinician with keen sense of humor

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PORTLAND — Donna B. (Church) Bryant of Portland died Feb. 6, after a short stay at Gosnell Memorial Hospice House in Scarborough.

She was born March 22, 1938, in Boston, Massachusetts. Bryant received her Bachelor of Science in Social Services from the University of New Hampshire in 1960 and her Master of Social Work from Smith College in 1962.

She worked in the mental health field for over 40 years. Her last position was at the Westbrook Eating Disorders Program, which she helped found while working as a clinician at Jackson Brook Institute, now Spring Harbor Hospital.

Bryant was the past president of the YWCA in Portland, and was a “Big” in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Program by mentoring two girls.

Bryant loved music, gardening, butterflies, cats, community activities, her family and her faith. She will be remembered as a dedicated and gifted clinician, a person blessed with a vibrant sense of humor and a loyal and cherished friend.

Her marriage to Edmund (Skip) Howard ended in divorce in 1973. She was predeceased by her husband Paul Heidenthalin in 2004. She is survived by seven nieces and nephews.

A memorial service to celebrate her life will be held at a later date at the St. Lawrence Arts and Community Center.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Lawrence Arts and Community Center, the Animal Refuge League and Friends of Feral Felines.