Lori McDonald, Director of Corporate Services/Clerk for the Town of Bracebridge, says the late Donna Mae Tolton was affectionately called “the hub.”
At Bracebridge’s Sept. 21 council meeting, Mayor Rick Maloney spoke about Tolton, who passed away the previous day.
“She’s been a family member of this municipality for 24 years,” he said, adding her primary role for most of that time was as the town’s receptionist. “She was the guardian of the entrance.”
Tolton started with the town in 1989 and retired in 2013.
“She cared about this municipality,” Maloney said. “She cared about our community. She was a loving mother, a loving wife and to hear of her tragic passing has been gutting to say the least.”
McDonald, who said she considered Tolton a mentor, fought back tears when speaking about her. “We called her the hub,” she said. “She knew everything that was going on. If you wanted to find out what was going on, you just had to ask Donna Mae. If she didn’t know it, she could find it out for you in a hurry.”
“There were very few people that she didn’t impact in a meaningful way,” McDonald continued.
While nothing formal was discussed, Maloney said that he “100-percent guaranteed” council’s backing if town staff brought forward an idea to honour Tolton.
In the meantime, McDonald asked those wishing to honour Tolton to donate in her memory to the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. She noted that Tolton was an animal lover and had multiple pets.
“This community is a little less shiny because Donna Mae Tolten is not with us anymore,” Maloney said, before offering condolences to her family and friends.