Cover photo for Donna Bruce Fugate's Obituary
Donna Bruce Fugate Profile Photo
1936 Donna Fugate 2023

Donna Bruce Fugate

November 30, 1936 — May 3, 2023

Duffield, VA


Donna Fugate, 86, lived a full and vibrant life as an artist, teacher, tennis player, bridge player, master gardener, and world traveler. She was known for her sly humor, appreciation of the arts, and reverence for living slowly and appreciating beautiful details.

Born November 30,1936, to Wade and Martha Bruce in Lawrence County, OH, Donna grew up the youngest of three sisters. After graduating from London High School, she earned her Bachelor of Arts at Asbury College in Wilmore, KY, and her master’s degree at The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH. Donna taught high school mathematics in Columbus Public Schools and coached student tennis and drill teams.

She and her husband, J.E. Fugate III, spent decades embarking on new adventures. After living in OH and NJ, the couple settled post-retirement on the family farm in Rye Cove, VA, but were seldom still for long. At home, she initiated the still-popular Candlelight Series at the Cove Ridge Center at Natural Tunnel State Park. Donna and J.E. camped regularly throughout the Americas from the Yukon to Tierra del Fuego, South America. Award-winning artist – photography, painting, dried florals, and fiber art – Donna was often found producing art projects with her grandchildren and other young family members, nurturing their artistic skills.

Donna is survived by her loving husband of 42 years, J.E. Fugate III; children Lisa Fugate of Richmond, VA, and Dana Fugate of Needham, MA; 5 grandchildren, Chandler Fugate-Laus, Payton Fugate-Laus, Kendall Fugate-Laus, Whelan Fugate-Kirstein, and Kaya Fugate-Kirstein; two sisters Avanelle Oberlin and Alice Faye Round; beloved nieces and nephews Janet Oberlin, Doris Oberlin, John Oberlin, David Oberlin, Doug Oberlin, Lenny Round, and Chris Round; and close family friend Wilma Sloan.

Funeral Services will be held Sunday, May 7, at 2:00 PM at Holston View Cemetery in Weber City, VA. The family requests that memorial contributions be made to a charity of choice in Donna’s name.

An online guest register is available for the Fugate family at

Gate City Funeral Home is honored to be serving the family of Donna (Bruce) Fugate.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Donna Bruce Fugate, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Sunday, May 7, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

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