Donna Oleson Hartford - Obituary

Donna Oleson Hartford

The beloved Donna Oleson Hartford joined her Lord on July 16, 2020 after a long battle with cancer. She was surrounded by her family.

Donna was born on Sept. 8, 1947 in Lancaster, N.H. to her loving parents Norman Oleson and Geraldine Beaton Oleson. She had a wonderful childhood on the Jefferson Highlands on the family farm and shared her weekends with her cousins who were with her until the end.

She graduated from Lancaster High school in 1965 and went on to earn her certificate in Cosmetology from Golden Beauty Academy. She had a long career and made endless friends while she “beautified” the community. Donna changed careers to deal with her empty nest, by becoming an administrative assistant at NFI North Country Shelter where she was adopted as a second mother by many children and young adults, loving her even today.

She and husband Bruce spent 42 years together growing gardens and sharing its harvest whether fresh or in the form of a preserve. They shared all that they had with their family, friends and community. They blessed their community and their community blessed them. They were always there to lend a hand, open their home, or share whatever they had. Donna will be best known in her community for her endless generosity, her donuts, fresh bread, strawberry jam and pickles.

Upon Donna’s retirement and the passing of her parents, she channeled her grief into her work with Hospice and her ongoing care of the elderly, making and keeping those lifelong relationships.

Donna was the best mother, grandmother and great-grandmother anyone could ask for. Her family was everything to her. Her children and grandchildren will keep her memory alive by singing Brahm’s Lullaby to their children, cooking for others, growing and foraging, putting their tongue in their cheek when scolding their loved ones and by spreading love, love, love.

She is predeceased by her parents, brother John, step-son Wade Hartford, numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins. She is lovingly survived by her husband Bruce Hartford, her children Kimberly Harris Grattan and Brian, Joseph Harris and Michelle, and step-son, Tadd Hartford and wife Summer Dawn, her grandchildren Katelyn and Jeffrey Samson, Gari-leigh Dodge and family, Zachary Grattan, Drew Grattan, Caleb Harris, Jacob and Tyler Hartford and Great-grandchildren Hannah, Mason and Paizley brother Fred Oleson, nieces and nephews, aunts, uncles, cousin and close friends.

The funeral will be a private service on Aug. 8 that will be live-streamed on Facebook on Kim Grattan’s Facebook Page. A celebration procession will follow at noon through the drive-way of the Oleson Tree Farm. Check Kim’s Facebook feed for procession directions.

Donations may be made to Norris Cotton Cancer Center and North Country Hospice.

Arrangements are under the direction of Bailey Funeral Home, 210 Main St., Lancaster. For more information or to send an online condolence please go to

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