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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Donna Marie Mandell, nee Poccia, 75

SOUTHPORT — Donna Marie Mandell, nee Poccia, 75, passed away on February 15, 2022 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Donna was born in Port Chester, New York to Francesco Innocenzo Poccia and Louise Poccia, nee Nolletti on September 14, 1946. She graduated from Port Chester High School in 1964 and Albany Medical Center School of Nursing in 1967. Following graduation Donna worked at United Hospital in Port Chester, New York where she met Dr. Stanley Mandell. Donna and Stanley were married on September 21, 1975 in Mamaroneck, New York and eventually settled in Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York.

In addition to being a mother, Donna was the office manager of Stan’s medical practice, and she could sometimes be found playing a round at Storm King Golf Club or cruising the Hudson River with Stan.

After retiring to Southport, North Carolina the couple continued boating and were members of the Cape Fear Yacht Club, but Donna also developed a passion for working with clay. This new pursuit led her to the artist community at Franklin Square Gallery where she proudly displayed her pieces, but also worked tirelessly to enhance the success of the gallery as a destination in Southport.

Even with all of these commitments, through the years Donna was most often found in the kitchen assembling fabulous meals – from simple dinners to multi-course feasts. Filling the gathering space with family and friends, whether for holidays or “just because,” brought her joy and created memories that anyone privileged to be her guest will never forget.

Donna is preceded in death by her parents, Francesco and Louise, as well as her stepmother, Peggy Poccia, nee Manfredo.

Donna is survived by her husband Stanley, her daughter Michele Cherry and husband Michael, her son Matthew Mandell and wife Laura, her stepchildren Albert Mandell and wife Rosemary, Stephen Mandell and wife Beth, and Richard Mandell and wife Mary, her brother Frank Poccia and wife Linda, her sister Antonia “Toni” DeMola and husband Steve, and her grandchildren: Donivan, Cooper, Francesco, Franklin, Harrison, Adam, Lily, Thomas and Joshua.

Visitation will be from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., February 23, 2022 at Peacock – Newnam & White Funeral and Cremation Service, Southport, North Carolina.

Funeral services will be held 11 a.m., February 24, 2022 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Southport, North Carolina and will also be available for viewing remotely via their website (; click “View Mass”).

Burial will follow at Cape Fear Memorial Park, Southport, North Carolina.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to a fund established in Donna’s name to support programming for children in the ceramic arts:

Online condolences may be made at

Peacock – Newnam & White Funeral and Cremation Service, Southport, North Carolina.

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