I was shocked and deeply saddened by the news today that a good friend of mine, Donna Maximenko, was found dead early this morning. She had been missing since last Wednesday.
For those of you that don't know Donna, she was a bartender at the Linebacker Lounge for many years, and was one of the nicest people you could ever know. If you've ever been in the Backer for a drink over the last decade, chances are you bought your drinks from Donna, and she was truly one of the best people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. Even when work was crazy and frustrating, she was quick with a smile.
I remember that one of the first times I met Donna at the 'Backer, she gave me one of those wooden coins that was good for a free drink, with her autograph on it. She made me promise never to use it, because she was going to be famous someday.
Many of us in the South Bend/Mishawaka/Notre Dame community are absolutely crushed by this deeply sad news, and I hope that you will take a minute to say a prayer for all of us that are left behind to mourn her passing.
Nights at the 'Backer will never be the same.