Donna S. Eby passed away on January 21, 2019, one week shy of her 60th birthday, surrounded by her loving friends and family. Her strength and perseverance carried her through a four-year courageous battle with cancer. Beloved daughter of Betty (nee Moore) and the late Vince Eby. Loving sister to Gary Eby (Conni Matzkofz), Connie Roesch (Don), Beverly Ferretjans (James) and Mary Beth Welch (Mike). Devoted friend to Lisa Sanger (Bill Sjulin) and Laura Santullo. Cherished aunt to Vicki Eby, Jessica Malloy (Josh), Patrick (Kelsey) and Kevin Roesch, Kaitlin Williams (Darrell), Maggie Amstutz (Trent), Ryan (fiancé Kruti) and Andrew Welch, Joe and Nick Sjulin, and the “baby grands” Lila and Beckett Malloy.
Donna was a partner in Sanger & Eby Design, a thriving Cincinnati design firm she founded 30 years ago with her cherished friend and fellow Mount St. Joseph alum Lisa Sanger. Together, they grew the company into one of Cincinnati’s largest women-owned businesses. Never content with the status quo, Donna constantly innovated and improved, with a clear-eyed ability to spot what was new and what was next in a fast-changing industry. She believed passionately in excellence, and never shied from asking tough questions to raise the bar, to drive innovation, and to make something new. A committed leader who inspired heartfelt loyalty, she worked constantly to help people achieve their potential, and in an industry known for high turnover, Donna created a culture that inspires people to stay for the long term, developing new ideas and skills while increasing value for the agency’s clients.
She was a fierce, loyal, kind, and generous woman who worked tirelessly in the community, volunteering her time, talent, and treasure to create a better world. She concentrated her efforts on helping children overcome obstacles and achieve their true potential, serving on the Board of Trustees for Lighthouse Youth Services and chairing the organization’s HR and Nominating committees. Donna saw education as the key to the future, and worked relentlessly to ensure opportunities for the leaders of tomorrow. She gave generously to many organizations, including establishing a scholarship at Cincinnati’s Seton High School to help ensure success for future generations, and in partnership with Lisa Sanger funded the Sanger & Eby design studio at Mount St. Joseph University and the Sanger & Eby Scholarship. Many organizations in Cincinnati have benefitted from Donna’s generous support and the services of the company she co-founded.
She had an immense sense of fun, a quick wit, and a straightforward way of speaking – everyone knew where they stood with Donna (except when she was playing poker, which she loved doing with the Cincinnati Poker Club). She was a relentlessly loyal Cincinnati Bengals and Cincinnati Reds fan who cheered her teams on with spirit and heart, every season, no matter what.
In every aspect of everything she did, Donna was a leader who looked for ways to make things better, and who believed passionately in a brighter future. Throughout her life, she shone light on that future and led the way along the path to achieving it. She leaves behind an indelible mark on countless lives – family, friends, partners, and colleagues in Greater Cincinnati and throughout the world.
In May of 2018, Donna received the highest honor from her industry peers with the American Advertising Federation’s Silver Medal Award, recognizing a lifetime of unparalleled contribution to company, community and industry, and Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley declared May 30th to be Donna Eby Day in the City of Cincinnati.
Visitation Friday, January 25, 5-8pm at Neidhard Minges Funeral Home, 3155 Harrison Ave, Westwood. Funeral Mass Saturday, January 26 at 10:30 am at Holy Family Church, 814 Hawthorne Ave., Price Hill. Burial to follow at St. Joseph Cemetery. Please join family and friend to celebrate Donna’s inspiring life at a lunch reception at Mount St. Joseph University following the services.
In lieu of flowers, Donna requested memorial contributions to the Sanger & Eby Scholarship at Mount St. Joseph University www.msj.edu/eby or Lighthouse Youth and Family Services www.lys.org/ways-to-give