Donna M. Richard
Donna M. Richard

August 18, 1946 - July 1, 2019
Born in Elizabeth, NJ
Resided in New York City, NY
Walter J. Johnson Funeral Home


Donna Maria (Cordes) Richard, 72, of New York, New York entered into eternal rest on July 1, 2019 after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. Donna was a 25-year survivor of ovarian cancer and a 10-year survivor of breast cancer. All who met her were inspired by her strength.

Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend the Funeral from the Walter Johnson Funeral Home, 803 Raritan Rd., Clark, on Saturday, July 20 beginning with Visiting from 9:00 - 10:30 am, thence to St. Agnes Church, Clark, where a Funeral Mass will be offered at 11:00 am. Interment will follow in Hollywood Memorial Park, Union.

Donna was born to Charles P. Cordes and Lillian (Benish) Cordes on August 18, 1946 in Elizabeth, New Jersey. In 1964, she graduated from Johnson Regional High School, Clark, New Jersey. She went on to the University of Cincinnati where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1969 and was awarded “most promising student in the School of Design.”

Donna was very artistic from a young age and was a lover of the arts throughout her life. While growing up, she enjoyed painting and sewing clothes for herself and others. After graduating from college, Donna began her career as a fashion designer in New York City. She specialized in designing ladies lounge and sleepwear until her retirement in 2013. In the 1970s, she gained notoriety when she designed a nightgown, inspired by a football jersey, which was highlighted when she appeared on the What’s My Line? television show. She was also recognized for her designs of luxurious satin and lace robes and nightgowns. She designed a number of clothing lines and was the original designer for the Gilligan & O’Malley line. Later in her career, she had her own Donna Richard line of sleepwear.

Donna enjoyed the rich culture of New York City where she resided for over 40 years. She also enjoyed world travel. Her friends and relatives will remember her as the consummate chef and host. In 1990, she completed a culinary course in France under the famous chef Roger Vergé.

Donna was predeceased by her parents and her stepmother, Margaret Cordes. She was the oldest of five sisters. She always offered guidance, wisdom, and support to her sisters who survive her: Lorraine Cordes, Joanne Boylan, Diane Bowden, and Regina Weldon. She loved being a part of the lives of her nephews and niece: Andrew, Charles, William, and Matthew Cole Boylan; Brian, Allison, and Jason Bowden; and James Morgan Weldon. She will be dearly missed by her family and friends.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in her memory to the American Cancer Society or a charity of your choice.




Walter J. Johnson Funeral Home
803 Raritan Road
Clark, NJ US 07066
Saturday, July 20, 2019
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Funeral Mass
St. Agnes RC Church
332 Madison Hill Road
Clark, NJ US 07066
Saturday, July 20, 2019
11:00 AM
Hollywood Memorial Park
1500 Stuyvesant Avenue
Union, NJ US 07083
Saturday, July 20, 2019
12:30 PM


American Cancer Society
986 South Springfield Avenue
Springfield, NJ 07081
Charity of your choice


Walter J. Johnson Funeral Home • 803 Raritan Road • Clark, New Jersey 07066 • 732-382-6262 •
Sullivan Funeral Home • 146 East Second Avenue • Roselle, New Jersey 07203 • 908-241-2345 •

Steven N. Perlmutter
Matthew S. Perlmutter
Funeral Director, Manager, NJ Lic. No. 3539  
Funeral Director, NJ Lic. No. 4785 
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