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Donna Jean Gilbert is the granddaughter of Rev. Andrew C. Strachan who was gifted a crazy quilt upon his graduation from the San Francisco Theological Seminary in the year 1900. Reverand Strachan's quilt was passed down through the family, and came to be in Donna's possession after it was brought to Rhode Island by Rev. Strachan's widow, Margaret Ethel Glen Strachan. Margaret Strachan came to Rhode Island to assist her daughter Ethel Lois Strachan Gilbert with her 4 young children after her husband Dr. Basil Gilbert died, suddenly. According to Donna, her mother would rent the house out, and she, the kids, and their grandmother Margaret would return to Canada for the summers.

Donna Jean Gilbert was born on March 3, 1939 in Kingston, Rhode Island. She was the 3rd daughter and youngest child of Ethel Lois Strachan Gilbert and Dr. Basil E. Gilbert, the Director of the Experimental Station of State College, in Kingston, RI (currently known today as the University of Rhode Island). In the 1940 census, Donna was listed in the household of her parents, who resided on 44 Kingstown Road, Kingston, RI. In 1960, Donna Jean Gilbert married Clemente "Clint" Sciola. Donna and Clint Sciola welcomed two sons to their family, Mark Antonio Sciola in 1962 and Michael Andrew Sciola in 1964. Donna's son Mark married Darlene Hene Nelson in 1968, and they are the parents of Donna and Clint's grandchildren Anthony and Amanda.

A sense of community service and the profession of teaching runs deep in the Strachan/Gilbert/Sciola family, particularly in South Kingstown, Rhode Island. Both of Donna (Gilbert) Sciola's parents were educators. When her father, Dr. Basil Gilbert died suddenly when she was just a first grader, her mother, Ethel Lois Gilbert, became a fifth-grade teacher at Peace Dale in order to support her four young children.[1] Because of her father's association with the State College, Donna and her siblings were able to pursue their educations at University of Rhode Island, and all have been teachers. After marrying her husband, Clint Sciola, Donna began her teaching career in California, but they missed Rhode Island and returned to 'South County', Rhode Island just a few years later. Donna began teaching first-grade at Peace Dale School in 1965 and retired from this same school in 1990. "During her first four years, [there] her mother taught at Hazard School a mile away." One of her former students who is now a journalist, wrote a wonderful article in memorial of her former teacher. In it, Donna credits the close-knit environment fostered by the Peace Dale building, and warm and caring staff and students within it for keeping her in teaching. The reporter, Chris Poon, credits Mrs. Sciola with teaching her how to hold a pair of scissors, and to "write neatly on wide-ruled paper and how to grow lima beans in a plastic cup." The article Chris Poon wrote about Donna's retirement, was the last one she wrote for the Narragansett Times before moving onto a new job, and she thought it only fitting since she will never forget the lessons Mrs. Sciola taught. That article, and this wiki to some degree, illustrate that Donna Sciola, like her grandfather Rev. Andrew C. Strachan, has and continues to leave a mark on their communities.
  1. ^ Poon, Chris, Fare-thee well, Mrs. Sciola, The Narragansett Times, March 23, 1990, 1A & A19.