Donna Joy Schonher, corporate recruiter

Donna Joy Schonher
February 19, 2014

Mrs. Donna Joy Schonher, 60, of Frederick, Md., passed away Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, at her home.

Born June 21, 1953, in Bronx, N.Y. to Iris Lax, she was raised on the energy and vitality that was unique to the neighborhoods of The Grand Concourse.

She graduated from Taft High School, Bronx, in 1971. Upon graduation, she entered Herbert H. Lehman College, where she graduated in 1974 with a bachelor of arts degree in speech and theatre. Smart, intuitive and attractive, the following years were exciting for her as she occasionally modeled, was a singer and toured in a lounge band, summered on Fire Island and enjoyed the excitement that was New York City. Eventually, she found her calling as a corporate recruiter representing such major corporations as Sumitomo and Fairchild Publications Inc.

In 1988, she married Erik Schonher. In 1990, they moved to Maryland where she worked as a placement specialist with OM5 in Baltimore, Md., and as a sales representative for the The Baltimore Business Journal until cofounding with her husband Communications Services and Marketing Inc., a firm specializing in member acquisition for Better Business Bureaus.

Upon the sale of CSMI in 1998, Donna continued working as a membership representative, until her death, for the Arkansas Better Business Bureau, winning several awards and earning the respect and admiration of her clients and peers. In her honor, the Arkansas Better Business Bureau has formally decreed, by passage of its board of directors, Feb. 11 to be celebrated as Donna Schonher Day and will start a scholarship fund in her name for students who demonstrate in essay form the importance of ethical business practices.

A loving wife and devoted mother, Donna was an amazing woman with a heart as big as all outdoors. She was intelligent, well spoken, honorable and well liked by all who met her. She loved the beach and found true happiness by simply sitting in the waves at Rehoboth Beach each summer. She loved the theatre and the arts. Her favorite music included songs by Eric Clapton, The Eagles, The Beatles, Billy Joel and Joni Mitchell. An interesting mix of focus and frivolity, she was very proud of “her men,” and kept her family together, offering both her son and husband just exactly what they needed to be the very best they could be. A beautiful woman, her eyes lit up the room, her laugh lightened the heaviest of hearts, and her smile could tame the most angered of us.

“We always knew she would return to the sea…”

We miss you, darling.

Surviving her are her husband of 25 years, Erik D. Schonher, and their son Mackenzie, both of Frederick, Md.

The memorial service will be a private affair for family and close friends.

Online condolences may be expressed to the family at


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