Copy the text below and then paste that into your favorite email application.
To end life with your loved ones gathered near is the wish of many. For our father, David Robert Donaldson, this quiet event happened on a Thursday evening after an exhausting battle with a worn body. It is strange, how one of the biggest moments of life ends with quiet reflection; a chance to reach through memories and wonder at the tiny details. Our father was a remarkable man. He accomplished what many have not. Our father lived his ordinary life quite well.
Born in in 1940 in Greensburg, Pennsylvania to Ralph and Elsie Margaret Donaldson, he joined the family as the youngest brother to Betty and Ralph. Here, he fostered a fondness for dogs, an appreciation for the outdoors, and a good book, and, during high school, he a developed a deep love for a girl, Jeanne Ellen Schuster. Years later, a secret trip to a Lutheran minister in Virginia found them married, and they embarked on their own love story, adding in children: Leslie, Mark, Laurel, and Christine. Caring for his new family meant working as a mechanical engineer, sometimes moving to new places, carrying him farther from his first family. But it also meant that he provided a home, food, clothes, and education for his family. Caring for his family also meant spending time with them, traveling across the country again and again to share his love for history and the beauty of God’s world.
Our father drove us up and down steep mountains to see the grandeur of the Rockies. We toured each visitor center. He stopped at every scenic overlook so that we could clamber out of the station wagon and see something extraordinary. We watched him study the enormity of the Grand Canyon, marveling at the color of the sky. We teased him that it was time for a cookie, something with chocolate, always chocolate, just so we could also have a cookie. And all along the way, his steady nature guided us, keeping us safe and protected. As a child, we knew he was the strongest man alive. We knew that we would always have a Christmas tree. And we knew that he would always come home to all of us each night. Our father loved his wife above all others.
His life was a series of unspoken promises and steady loyalty. He was consistently kind, quietly witty, actively intelligent, and occasionally playful, all underlaid with a faith and love for God. When the weeks quickly dwindled down to days, his words found their way back to Pennsylvania. He spoke of his mother, his sister, his brother. He yearned to see his grandparents. He spoke of finishing his work here and seeing Jesus, crying as we prayed. As we all did, when the last breaths came. And so we let him go, back to his Heavenly Father and the promise of new life with Him through Jesus Christ. In Him, there is assurance of Heaven. Through Jesus Christ, there is mercy and forgiveness. Blessed be the name of the Lord. We thank You for this quiet man’s life.
David was preceded in death by his parents, Elsie and Ralph Donaldson; sister, Dorothy Donaldson; and sister, Elsie Elizabeth “Betty” Bergeron (Wallace);
Survivors include: brother, Ralph Donaldson (Dee), wife, Jeanne Donaldson; children, Leslie Burger (Wes), Mark Donaldson (Shawnalyce), Laurel White (Jeff), and Christine Rodriquez (Tony); 13 grandchildren; 1 great grandchild; and numerous nephews and nieces.
A memorial service celebrating David’s life will be held in Pennsylvania at a later date yet to be determined.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to A New Leash on Life, or another deserving no-kill animal shelter.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors