Donna M. Ryder

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Donna M. Ryder

December 06, 1927 - October 29, 2018

Donna M. Ryder Donna Marilyn Ryder, was born Carol Sonia Polczynski on Dec. 6, 1927 in Detroit. For most of her adult life, she resided in Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills. For the last 2 1/2 years, she resided in North Branch with her grandson, Travis, his wife, Michelle and their three children who all cared for her. The "GMA Project" (her loving text name) was a family victory as she died peacefully at home on Oct. 29, 2018.
Donna attended Baldwin High School (1945) and graduated from Michigan State College (1949) with a degree in speech and communications. She married George R. Ryder on Sept. 12, 1947, who predeceased her in 2004.
Donna discovered early that the theater was her passion. Starting in high school at Cranbrook Youth Theater and then in college, she earned the lead in most productions for which she auditioned. She was a member of The Village Players and St. Dunstan's Theater for many years. From the ingenue to the experienced actress, Donna's inner star shone brightly.
During her many years in the Birmingham area, she enjoyed decorating and remodeling eight different homes. Her years of tennis and paddle tennis at Orchard Lake Country Club provided great joy and many friendships. Donna was also a member of The Village Club.
Survivors include: children, George (Gail) Ryder, Katherine Ryder (Brad) Purcell; grandchildren, Travis (Michelle) Ryder, Cody (John) Ryder, Julia (Simon) Purcell, Luke Purcell, Aven (Tom) Purcell, Dylan (Jessica) Box, Oliver (Anthony) Box; great-grandchildren, Steven, Maya, Kaleb, Isabelle, Dominic, and Goldie.
A memorial service will be held at Christ Church Cranbrook on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018 at 2 p.m.
Published on November 6, 2018
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