Donna Cote

In Memory: Former Central Rappahannock Regional Library Director Donna Cote

by | Feb 22, 2016 | Uncategorized

Madonna Griffin “Donna” Cote of Fredericksburg died on Friday, Feb. 19, 2016, at Mary Washington Hospital. She was 70.

Donna had retired in 2015 from Central Rappahannock Regional Library (CRRL), where she’d served as director since 1981. She’d begun work at CRRL in 1971, after graduating from Mary Washington College. She earned her Master of Library Science degree from Catholic University.

Donna was born on October 28, 1945, in Chicago, and grew up in Triangle and Fredericksburg, Virginia. She attended Montfort Academy and Gar-Field High School.

Under her leadership, CRRL grew from two locations, the former Lafayette School in Fredericksburg and a storefront library in Colonial Beach, to today’s eight newly constructed or renovated branch libraries in Fredericksburg, Stafford, Spotsylvania and Westmoreland.

Donna was highly regarded by her peers in libraries throughout Virginia, and was the recipient of numerous awards, including the Elizabeth M. Lewis Award from the Virginia Public Library Directors Association for the director “who most embodies the qualities of enthusiasm, nurturing spirit and love of libraries.”

Donna also served as President of the Virginia Library Association and of the Virginia Public Library Directors Association. She was named the Outstanding Library Director in 2003 by the Virginia Public Library Directors Association. She was a long-time member of the Legislative Committee of the Virginia Library Association and was instrumental in drafting State Standards for Public Libraries in conjunction with the Library of Virginia. She served for many years as a Board member of Montfort Academy.

Donna was preceded in death by her son Daniel. She is survived by her daughter Gillian Cook, her husband Ken and their six children; her daughter Clare Hedlund, her husband Serge and their four children; and her son Pierce Cote. She is also survived by the father of her children, Raymond Cote; her twin sisters Debbie Cooley and husband Larry, and Barbara Brightwell; her brother Jack Griffin and wife Maureen; and many nieces and nephews. She leaves behind many loving friends and colleagues and her dear friend David Baker.

An online book of condolences is available at Madonna F. “Donna” Cote

The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 22, at Covenant Funeral Service, 4801 Jefferson Davis Hwy. in Fredericksburg.

A memorial Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23, at St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church, 1009 Stafford Ave. in Fredericksburg.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that contributions in Donna’s memory can be made to Rappahannock Legal Services, 500 Lafayette Blvd., Suite 100, Fredericksburg, Virginia 22401, or to the Central Rappahannock Regional Library, 1201 Caroline St., Fredericksburg, Virginia 22401.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story had an old address for Rappahannock Legal Services. The new address — 500 Lafayette Blvd., Suite 100, Fredericksburg — has been added.

Regional Library Director Retires After 44 Years

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