Riverside Memorial Chapel

180 West 76th Street, New York, NY



March 5, 1946January 7, 2020

BARNETT--Donna Fern.

Donna Fern Barnett was born on March 5, 1946 at Mt. Sinai Hospital and grew up in the Pelham Parkway Section of the Bronx with her doting older brother David. Her father, Benjamin Jablin, was an immigrant from Odessa, then part of Russia, and managed North End Wine and Liquor on Webster Avenue. Her Mother, Pauline Jablin, was born and raised on the Lower East Side. Donna graduated from high school at the age of 16 and enrolled at Hunter College, where she graduated with a bachelor's degree in literature and history. She worked as a social worker for the City of New York with at-risk children in the late 1960s, and she worked part-time in an eyeglass store on the Upper East Side. Donna met her husband, the late Dr. Jay Barnett, on a blind double date arranged by their fathers. They were married on December 23, 1973 and had three children, Franya, Dov, and Channing. Donna was a committed mother who encouraged her children to shine in the classroom and in athletics. Never a helicopter parent, she allowed her children to learn from their mistakes and forge their own paths. A painter and photographer, Donna appreciated the beauty in nature and the cityscape. She loved delicate, vibrant flowers and skyscrapers. She captured powerful images from Glacier National Park to the Chrysler Building, and from the cherry blossoms of Central Park to the tulip fields of Holland. An elegant presence on the Upper East Side for over forty years, Donna Barnett died peacefully on January 7, 2020 in Boca Raton, Florida, surrounded by her three children. She is survived by her children and her nine grandchildren who will miss their Nana Donna very much.


  • Funeral Service Thursday, January 9, 2020



have a memory or condolence to add?

Carla Herzog

January 9, 2020

Today’s funeral was a beautiful tribute to your mom, Donna. I am so glad I was able to attend, although we wish the circumstances were different: Donna and Jay raised three nice and exceptional children.

Channing, like yourself, I was blessed to have mom live with me and care for her the last years of her life. She was my love; the sweetest most darling mother a child could ask for. My mother and I would often say how lucky we both were to have this special time together. I lost her towards the end of December.

I feel ALL of your pain, and I am SO, SO sorry!

Keep her in your heart.
Trust that she is with you.

I know that your parents are so proud of their three wonderful children, spouses and their nine grandchildren.

Thinking of all of you....

Sent with love,
Carla & Michael