Donna S. duHoffmann
TRAPPE — Donna Susan (Cortese) duHoffmann, born on June 2, 1954, in South Orange, N.J., to the late Genevieve Cortese and the late Frank Cortese Sr., passed away at age 64, after a lengthy battle with cancer. On the morning of June 11, 2018, Donna died peacefully in her home in Trappe, Md., surrounded by her husband, children, a childhood friend and her dog.
A 1972 graduate of Columbia High School in Maplewood, N.J., Donna pursued her talent and interest in the visual arts, earning a degree in photography from the New York School of Visual Arts in 1979. For several years, she lived in and around New Jersey and New York City, working for her father’s neon light company, EGL, and as the assistant and stylist for a well-known New York photographer, David Kennedy. Shortly after her marriage in 1987 to Poul Anthony duHoffmann, the couple moved to the Eastern Shore of Maryland to start a new life for themselves and their children. For a few years, the couple lived on their boat, the Petrine, on Kent Island, after which they moved to a farmhouse in Trappe. Donna was a gifted artist in many media from a young age and, later in life, channeled her considerable talent and skill into upholstery and chair dressing. After a few years working primarily with boat canvas, she opened her own business, Classic Chair and Sofa Studio, serving diverse clients in and around Maryland’s Mid-Shore region.
Donna’s many interests and hobbies included yoga, sailing, gardening, cooking, bike riding and tango dancing with her husband in their home studio and also in community settings and events. She was widely appreciated and admired as an excellent and generous hostess and cook, and the duHoffman household was ver y often busy with gatherings of her many friends and extended family.
She is survived by her husband of 30 years, Poul Anthony duHoffmann; and her sons, Dane and Michael duHoffmann; her two brothers, Frank Cortese Jr. and Gary Cortese. Donna was blessed to also have a number of loving stepchildren in her life and is also survived by her stepdaughters, Justine Kowinski, Jessica duHoffmann-Goers, Vanessa duHoffmann, Theresa Wooten; and her stepsons, Paul duHoffmann, Christian duHoffmann, Soren duHoffmann, Gunther duHoffmann; as well as 11 grandchildren; a host of nieces, nephews and cousins, friends and her beloved dog, Stella.
A private celebration of life for Donna will be held for family and close friends in Easton, Md., on Oct. 20. As per her wishes, a cherry tree has been planted on her property for anyone who wants to pay their respects.
In lieu of flowers, those who choose to may make a donation in Donna’s memory to the Senior Dog Sanctuary of Maryland or the Women’s Cancer Fund. Alternatively, planting a tree in her honor would also be appropriate and encouraged.