HERKIMER - Absent from the body, present with the Lord, Mr. Rudolph James "Rudy" Donato, passed away surrounded with love on Christmas evening, December 25, 2019, at Bassett Healthcare, in Cooperstown, New York, at the age of 51. Rudy currently resided in a comfortable home, receiving wonderful care at 46 West River Street, in Ilion, New York. He was born on March 10, 1968, in Herkimer, New York, a son of the late Rudolph T. and Mary (Sanita) Donato and was the proud recipient of a Herkimer High School Diploma. He was baptized to the Catholic faith, a member of the Church of Sts. Anthony & Joseph, Herkimer. For over ten years, Rudy was fortunate enough to spend time in as well as to live in Saratoga Springs with his dad. This made him very happy, especially to be close to the horses as he was an avid racing fan. Rudy was a huge New York Giants and New York Yankees fan and enjoyed watching sports, including WWE wrestling, the Harlem Globe Trotters, swimming and family activities. His family survives, inclusive to his loving siblings, Reina Merkelbach and her husband, Kenneth, of Albany, New York, Joanne Circelli and her husband, William, of Plattsburgh, New York, Alba Bowman and her husband, Edward, of Herkimer, Gina Hartman and we lovingly remember her husband, Richard, of Herkimer, Teresa Bunce and her husband, David, of Herkimer, Clarina Talarico and her husband, Terrance, of Charlotte, North Carolina and Mary Baggetta and her husband, Thomas, of Rotterdam, New York. He will also be missed by his aunt, Theresa Fusco; as well as numerous nieces, nephews and cousins, all of whom he loved and adored greatly. Rudy also leaves behind many friends that he was so fortunate to make throughout the years, who so passionately cared for him. We especially would like to acknowledge his friends at the Schuyler IRA and those at West River Drive, in Ilion. They loved Rudy and he in turn loved them right back. He was predeceased by his parents, Rudy and Mary; his cousin, Thomas V. Donato; and his brother-in-law, Rick Hartman. Funeral services will be held on Saturday evening, December 28th, 2019, at 7:00 PM, directly at the Chapel of the Enea & Ciaccia Family Funeral Home, 4309 Acme Road, in Ilion, New York (Town of Frankfort), where Deacon Ron Ste-Marie will lead us in prayer. As a tribute to Rudy, the family will be present at the funeral home on Saturday, prior to the service from 5:00 PM until 7:00 PM to receive relatives and friends during these calling hours. His entombment will take place at a time convenient to the family later in the spring of 2020 within the family mausoleum at Calvary Cemetery, Herkimer, New York, where he will be laid to rest. Donations in loving memory of Rudolph James Donato are asked to be considered to either the ARC Herkimer Capital Campaign Fund, PO Box 271, Herkimer, New York 13350 or to Hospice and Palliative Care, 4277 Middle Settlement Road, New Hartford, NY 13413. Envelopes will be provided at the Enea & Ciaccia Family Funeral Home for these purposes. The family extends a special thank you to Bassett Healthcare in Cooperstown, all of whom provided outstanding comfortable and watchful attention. Their attentive patient care and concern for Rudy and his loved ones during his final days actually went far beyond the call of duty and the family was so very appreciative and cognizant of this. All funeral and entombment arrangements have been planned with the Enea & Ciaccia Family Funeral Home, Funeral Directors Harry J. & Kevin E. Enea and Martin L. Ciaccia (315) 894-8000. "We don't age by years, we age by stories and we cherish all of our stories”.