Gertrude Walton Donahey received many accolades for her years of public service during her lifetime. After her death on July 11, 2004, Donahey was remembered with a special marker near the David Zeisberger Cemetery, in Goshen, where she was born. A dedication service was held there on August 1, 2004 and was attended by about 75 people. These included Donahey’s son, John, of Columbus, cousins Jim and Betty Walton Lanzer, of Sherrodsville and Tuscarawas County Commissioners Kerry Metzger, Jim Seldenwright and Bill Ress.
Donahey was state treasurer in 1971-1983 and was the first woman elected to a statewide executive office. She was re-elected to two additional terms. She had been encouraged by her father-in-law, A. Victor Donahey, who was Ohio Governor in 1923-1929 and a U.S. Senator from 1925-1941. He told her early in her career “There’s a place for women in politics, Gert.”
It took considerable courage to venture into that field. Gertrude Donahey thus was a pioneer and her success opened doors for others in all branches and levels of government.
Goshen Township Trustee Glenn Carlisle commented about Donahey while the marker was being dedicated.
“Gertrude was a person who built many bridges,” said Carlisle. “People will always remember her and this remains a closeknit community that still has people who care.”