Hillard  Donner
Hillard Donner

January 5, 1924 - January 12, 2018
Born in Baltimore, MD
Resided in Annapolis, MD
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On Friday, January 12, 2018, Hillard Donner passed away peacefully at Anne Arundel Medical Center, Annapolis, Md. He celebrated his 94th birthday this past January 5th. A longtime resident of Annapolis, Hillard moved here in 1946 with his father, Joseph Donner following the end of World War II.

Hillard Donner was born in Baltimore on January 5, 1924, and graduated from City College High School in Baltimore, in 1942. He served in the US Navy in WWII, stationed in Cuba, serving as a radio operator on blimps flying low over the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, searching for German submarines. In 1946, his father Joseph Donner bought Mills Liquor Mart (later known as Mills Fine Wine and Spirits), a mainstay establishment of downtown Annapolis, on the dock at Main Street. Hillard joined his father and they opened for business on April 1, 1946. He remained the principle proprietor of Mills until his retirement in November, 2012.

In 1948, Mr Donner married Karolyn Plimack, and built a house in Murray Hill in 1955. Hillard lived in that house up until three years ago. His wife died in 2006. He is survived by two daughters and their husbands, Cindy and Gary Reiner and Janis and Glen Rotner; three grandchildren, Jessica Reiner, Dr. Loren Rotner, PhD and Ryan Rotner; and two great-grandchildren, Emma and Lucas.

Over his lifetime of giving, Mr. Donner contributed more that $5 million to philanthropic causes including the Key School, the American Lung Association, American Heart Association, St. John’s College (A member of the Board of Visitors), the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Historic Annapolis Foundation, Hospice of the Chesapeake, Boy Scouts of America, the Mitchell Gallery of St. John’s College, The Naval Academy Student Center, Israeli Bonds and countless other local charities. Mr. Donner provided funds to the Jewish Chapel of the U.S. Naval Academy in support of the skylight in the shape of a Star of David.

While on the Board of the Anne Arundel Medical Center, Hillard donated $1 million, and raised $23 million additional funds for construction of the new hospital center. The Rose and Joseph Donner Pavilion there is named in honor of his parents. Further, Mr. Donner received the Philanthropist of the Year Award in 2001 from the Chesapeake Community Foundation, after nomination by the Anne Arundel Medical Center, Hospice of the Chesapeake and St. John’s College. He was honored as a member of the Comcast Business person Hall of Fame.

A Funeral Service will be held on Monday January 15, 2018 at 2pm at Temple Beth Shalom, 1461 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd., Arnold, MD 21012. Interment to follow at Kneseth Israel Cemetery in Annapolis. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the Anne Arundel Medical Center, the Key School, or St. John’s College of Annapolis.




Temple Beth Shalom
1461 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd
Arnold, MD US 21012
Monday, January 15, 2018
2:00 PM
Kneseth Israel Cemetery
101 Defense Highway
Annapolis, MD US 21401
Monday, January 15, 2018


Anne Arundel Medical Center
2001 Medical Parkway
Annapolis, MD 21401
The Key School
534 Hillsmere Dr
Annapolis, MD 21403
St. Johns College
60 College Ave
Annapolis, MD 21401