Donna Stratis

Donna S. Stratis

Saturday, January 22nd, 1949 - Tuesday, December 17th, 2019
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Donna Sue Stratis, age 70, died Tuesday, December 17, 2019 at her Town of Poughkeepsie residence where she lived for nearly half a century. Following a tenacious year-long struggle with cancer, she ultimately passed away peacefully at home holding hands with cherished loved ones.
Born Donna Sue Kortright on January 22, 1949 in Ellenville, NY, she spent some of her happiest and most formative moments as a child on a nearby Kerhonkson farm with her grandmother. As a result, Donna had a life-long affinity for animals and homesteading, for rural and forested places. The eldest of seven siblings, she was a loving, fiercely protective and maternal big sister. As an adult, she became the best mother, though often asking way too much of herself. She sacrificed so, so much for the care of her developmentally disabled daughter Rena. She made simple things magical. She made odd things beautiful. She was sometimes the cool mom, often a best friend, but always trying to protect her children while cultivating their goodness, passions, creativity, growth and self-reliance. At 19 years old, Donna started working at a small diner called “Poughkeepsie Plaza Restaurant.” Nikolaos Stratis, a Greek immigrant and entrepreneur, courted her and they were married April 20, 1969. Although lacking Greek ancestry herself, in coming to know and love Nick and also his culture, she made them a part of her core being. She loved him endlessly for 50+ years. Together, with his family, they built several restaurants over the years: Nicks’ Place, Brighton Diner, Red Coach, The Acropolis Diner and The Athens Terrace. She was ever a devout Christian, and a member of Kimisis Greek Orthodox Church for 51 years. Donna worked for years as a certified medical transcriptionist. A talented creative force, she was educated in graphic arts and design. She was a skilled cook, baker, gardener, and possessed a myriad of other talents. She was someone who appreciated preserving traditions and things made thoughtfully, with care, in the past. She turned her talents and hobbies into a business restoring antique dolls. She could take a shattered thing and almost miraculously and painstakingly make it seamlessly whole. Although terrible with names, Donna was a brilliant woman in possession of deep emotional intelligence. She could effortlessly converse with almost anyone on almost any subject and even taught herself Greek after she was married. She was ever a champion for strays, both the human and animal varieties. Donna was honest, trustworthy, fun, funny, compassionate, self-reliant, anti-authoritarian, and a lover of liberty. And sometimes... a stubborn opinionated pain in the ass that you couldn’t help but love. Donna Stratis had many titles: Ma, Mommy, Grandma, Sister, Sis, Aunt, Thea, Daughter, wife, Donna-mou and friend. For those who truly knew her she was an ever-present source of strength, support and solace – a rock. She seems to have genuinely held no hate or grudges in her heart, finding grace for even those her wronged her. Her children want you to know some of her parting conversations:
When her daughter and sister stated that they did not know what they would do without her, she advised them on how to grieve: “You need to go outside – it has to be outside in the open air.” With her arms raised to the sky, she explained, “You scream ‘WHY!?’ at the top of your lungs. Then after it is over, you pick yourself up and move on because you have to. You have to for you, and for those you love.”
“You’re going to remember our conversations. It’s going to be hard, because you’re going to want to tell me something, but you can’t.”

“I think that maybe the devil challenges the good and faithful people the most. Pray to Jesus for me. For me and for Rena”. “I love you – all of you – forever.”
Donna is survived by her husband, Nick Stratis; her children, Rena Stratis, Dimitra Stratis-Cullum, and Dimitrios Stratis; her grandchildren, Anastasia and Alyssandra Cullum; her siblings, Carol Conklin, Donald Kortright, Pamela Falco, and Robert Kortright. She was predeceased by her younger sister Barbara J. Bohan, and infant brother, Bobby H. Kortright, Jr., as well as her parents Eileen Allen and Bobby Kortright. She is also survived by many nieces, nephews, and friends. Donna touched and transformed the lives of too many to list.
Friends may call from 6-9 p.m. on Saturday, December 21, 2019 at the William G. Miller & Son Funeral Home, Inc, 371 Hooker Avenue, Poughkeepsie. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Monday, December 23, 2019 at the Kimisis Greek Orthodox Church, 140 South Grand Ave., Poughkeepsie. Burial to follow at Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please donate in her name to a non-for-profit. Support the developmentally disabled, a cancer organization like or just be kind. To send an online condolence, please visit our website at
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Saturday, December 21st, 2019 | 6:00pm - 9:00pm
    Saturday, December 21st, 2019 6:00pm - 9:00pm
    Wm. G. Miller & Son F.H. ,Inc.
    371 Hooker Ave.
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Monday, December 23rd, 2019 | 11:00am
    Monday, December 23rd, 2019 11:00am
    Kimisis Greek Orthodox Church
    140 South Grand Ave.
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery
    342 South Avenue
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Samuel Vona

Posted at 07:32am
I have such fond memories of Donna and family from special occasions at my aunt Mary's house so many years ago. Very sorry for your loss. Best wishes. Samuel A. Vona, Jr.

Anna Velie

Posted at 05:24pm
So very sorry to hear of Donna’s passing. She was a very strong and loving woman and an amazing mother. She will be missed.
Anna Velie

Leonard Family (ARL)

Posted at 09:38am
Moms stay in a very special part of our hearts even after they pass. We are very sorry to hear of your loss and hope that your memories bring you comfort in the times to come. Thinking of you, The Leonard Family (ARL) Wendy, Ray, and Austin

Adam Skura

Posted at 11:18pm
In Memory of Donna Stratis. With Love to Dimitri and Family.
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Eleanor Incampo

Posted at 10:49pm
In memory of Donna Stratis.
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A memorial tree was planted in the memory of Donna Stratis — Plant a Tree Now

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