BENNINGTON —; Longtime Bennington Banner employee Donna Antognioni, 77, has passed away.
According to her obituary, she died peacefully on Christmas Eve, surrounded by her family. Antognioni began working at the Banner in 1969, and remained until her retirement from being a news clerk in 2013. She was born in Troy, N.Y. on Oct. 4, 1938, and graduated from Catholic Central High School in Troy. She moved to Bennington in the spring of 1967.
"Donna was, for so many people, the face of the Banner," said former Banner employee Stephanie Ryan, who is currently employed by CBS 6 Albany, "and she was always, no matter who was in charge, the constant in the newsroom, the one who knew what was going on and how it related to everything that had gone before. She was welcoming, and conscientious, and she kept an eye on us all. She felt like family, and will be much missed."
Attorney Rob Woolmington, a former reporter and editor with the Banner, wrote the following about Antognioni, "Donna was the sparkling life of the Banner during the years when I worked there. She interacted with everyone — news staff, press crew, ad staff, publisher — with humor, great competence and genuine caring. A wonderful person in every way."
Bennington Select Board member Jim Carroll took a moment at Monday's board meeting to remember Antognioni. "Many of you may have known Donna," he said, "She worked as the secretary and overlord at the Banner newsroom, and was just a wonderful human being, and I'm going to miss her."
Mark Rondeau, the Banner's night editor, who has been with the paper since 2007, said she was in many ways the conscience of the newsroom. "Donna admired good work, and also knew who was mailing it in," he said. "She had a great news sense and cared very much about the newspaper and the community."
Antognioni's son, John Antognioni, currently works as the assessor for the Town of Bennington.
Donna Antognioni was survived by her husband of 56 years, John, their sons John and Robert, and five grandchildren. Her son, Gary, passed away in 2013.
A funeral mass will be held at Sacred Heart St. Francis de Sales in Bennington at 11 a.m. on Jan. 5, which will be followed by a gathering at the Bennington Elk's Lodge. Her obituary requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Sacred Heart School, or to another charity of your choice.