Donna M. Kanabay, RMR, CRR, of Odessa, Fla., passed away on Jan. 26, 2021, after a brief but ferocious battle with cancer. She will be missed terribly by her family, her Florida court reporting family, her beloved state association, and her friends.
Donna was raised in a court reporting family. Her parents, Donald and Helen Kanabay, began and operated Kanabay and Kanabay, a court reporting office in the Tampa Bay-St. Petersburg area. Donna remembered as a child playing on the floor of the office among boxes of steno notes. Ownership of the company was eventually passed to her, and it became Kanabay Court Reporters. Donna spent her entire professional career of 48 years in the family office.
Donna was a force of nature in her participation in the Florida Court Reporters Association (FCRA). She was a constant fixture in committees, board meetings, and state conventions. Donna enthusiastically participated in NCRA as well, but her heart belonged to her home state. She was a relentless researcher and compiled and kept the history of FCRA as though she were caretaking scriptures; and to her mindset, she was.
Donna eschewed the offices of leadership, always preferring to work in the trenches, unnoticed – or as unnoticed as she could ever be. The proudest and most profoundly moving moment of her professional life was when she was awarded the FCRA Distinguished Service Award.
Donna was a superbly capable reporter, a fierce woman who wore her heart on her sleeve. Whether you were a family member, colleague, client, or friend, there was no mistaking how Donna felt at a given time. She would, in obvious measure, wax angry, sad, or happy, but at the root of it all was boundless love for the causes and people in which she believed.
The loss of Donna’s vast reservoir of intelligence, humor, and devotion leaves a giant emptiness in the profession that she so loved and energetically supported and with the family, reporters, and friends that she leaves behind. We say farewell to our dear, indomitable colleague with a heaviness of the heart that cannot be soon lightened.
Jason Meadors, FAPR, RPR, CRR, CRC
Fort Collins, Colo.