DEARBORN HEIGHTS — Crestwood School Board President Donna Ancinec passed away on Sunday, Oct. 25 at the age of 66.
According to a GoFundMe page that was set up on Oct. 5, Ancinec had been battling a chronic liver condition for a few years that had impacted her ability to work full time.
“Donna has given over 20 years to the Crestwood School District as a board member and the majority as the president of the Board of Education,” the page said. “She has spearheaded many a fundraiser, anonymously, for people who have had illnesses or needs.”
Ancinec was elected president of the school board in 2001 and has been serving the Crestwood School District since.
Arrangements have not yet been announced, however the GoFundMe page is still open at gofundme.com/f/donna-ancinec
“It is with great sadness we learn of Crestwood School District President Donna Ancinec’s passing,” said Dearborn Heights City Councilwoman Lisa Hicks-Clayton in a Facebook post. “I often enjoyed and always valued our conversations and her support.”
Mayor Daniel Paletko knew Ancinec for 25-30 years.
“I knew her through various community activities,” he told The Arab American News. “Education was her passion and she always did an excellent job. She was a good friend and she was an anchor in the community.”
City Clerk Lynne Senia had worked with Ancinec on the Crestwood School Board for years.
“I’d like a moment of silence for a very special woman to my life,” Senia said during Tuesday’s City Council meeting. “We worked together on the Crestwood School Board for 16 years. We worked hand in hand. Donna’s heart was immense for the children of this community.”
Superintendent Youssef Mosallam issued a statement on Ancinec’s passing as well, saying that she was more than just the board president.
“Ancinec served on the Crestwood School Board of Education for over 20 years, becoming not only the president, but also a friend to me and my wife,” he said. “In this past year, I truly learned who Donna really was. Beyond the strong leadership she possessed and illustrated, she was kind, caring, empathetic and understood that our children of the Crestwood community are our future.”
Mosallam also said that allowed him and his team to be comfortable asking for help.
“Even during her struggle in the hospital, we would speak almost every day because she would say, ‘no time to rest, we have so much to do,'” he said. “As a superintendent, people tend to think that we have all the answers, but Donna was the type of person and leader that allowed me and my team to be comfortable to say, ‘I do not know, can you help me?’ and she did so without hesitation or judgment.”
Mosallam also requested the community to do something nice for someone else in honor of Ancinec.
“We will not lose sight of what Donna fought so hard for over the past 20 years,” he said. “We will continue to push our district forward to be the best, and by doing so, honor Donna’s wishes. We will be great not because we want to, but because as Donna would tell me, ‘it is our duty to be great.’ In honor of Donna, please do something nice for someone, as this is what Donna would always say to me.”
Ancinec is survived by her husband, Bradley, and her children, Joseph and Emily.
Visitation is scheduled for Friday from 1:30 p.m. until the 6:30 p.m. Rosary at the John N. Saneiu & Son Funeral Home at 1139 N. Inkster Road in Garden City. Funeral Services will be held Saturday at 10 a.m. at St. Sabina Catholic Church at 25605 Ann Arbor Trail in Dearborn Heights.