Donna Jean Broccolino, a retired nurse and medical administrator who battled a brain tumor for four years, died Tuesday of complications from treatment for her condition at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She was 61.
She displayed resiliency to surgeries, cancer therapies and experimental treatments during her long fight, according to friends, family, doctors and her husband, Dario J. Broccolino, who is Howard County state's attorney.
Donna Jean Oettinger was born in 1947 and spent her early youth in the Irvington neighborhood of Southwest Baltimore, where she attended the Samuel Ready Preparatory School. Her family moved to Ellicott City when she was 10, and she later graduated from Howard High School. In 1966, she graduated from the Church Home School of Nursing and became a registered nurse, working at Bon Secours and St. Agnes hospitals. Later, she managed services at private surgical centers.
Two years after getting her nursing degree, she and Mr. Broccolino were married. They raised two children, Mark Broccolino of Ellicott City and Michelle Broccolino Smith of Baltimore. The couple would have celebrated their 40th anniversary in October.
Donna Broccolino enjoyed gardening, mah-jongg and socializing with her tennis group, but her greatest pleasure was her three grandchildren, Vincent and Isabella Broccolino, and Parker Steven Smith.
"She was marvelous, especially in her devotion to her family," her husband said. "She excelled at a lot of roles, but grandmother was the role she enjoyed the most," he added.
Funeral services are scheduled for 11 a.m. today at the Church of the Resurrection, 3175 Paulskirk Drive in Ellicott City.
Survivors, in addition to her husband, children and grandchildren, include her sister, Sharon Lynn Zimmerman of Ellicott City, and many nieces and nephews.