Sherrell Donaldson

Donaldson, Sherrell Brown,
April 1, 1934 - January 18, 2013
Sherrell Brown Donaldson, 78, passed away at home in San Juan Capistrano, California, from complications of COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) on January 18. Sherry was born April 1, 1934 (Easter Sunday) in Pasadena, California, the daughter of Merwin and Marjorie Brown. She attended elementary, junior and senior high school in Pasadena and graduated from Occidental College in Eagle Rock, California, with a B.A. in 1954. While at Oxy, Sherry was a member of Alpha Sorority and met her future husband, Robert Donaldson; they were married December 26, 1954 and enjoyed a wonderful, loving, and caring relationship for over 58 years. Sherry was known for her positive, loving attitude and ready smile (always "looking up"), sense of personal responsibility, grace in the face of adversity, ability to forgive, sense of humor, generosity, and concern for others. She was a true 'people person' interested in others and their welfare, regardless of background or station in life. She was an elementary school teacher in Pasadena and Yorba Linda in her earlier years, and during her husband's US Air Force duty. In her fifties she became a travel agent, and developed a reputation for her ability to put together extensive cruises and other forms of travel, for over 20 years. She and her husband enjoyed traveling to many parts of the world, especially to her beloved island of Kauai. Sherry, always "Bonna" to her grandchildren, loved them beyond measure; a lady of many interests, she also enjoyed Hawaiian music including slack key guitar, classical music, art in various forms, HGTV, grapefruit "gummie bears", cymbidiums, genealogical research, English history, family get-togethers, especially Christmas, remembering birthdays and anniversaries, and volunteering in her church. Sherry suffered from the debilitating effects of severe COPD for many years and fought its ravages with grace and dignity, always cheerful with concern for others around her. Before her diagnosis, over the years she was an active caregiver to her Mother, her Sister-in-Law, and Mother-in-Law. She was predeceased by her parents and younger brother Richard. She leaves her husband, sons Robin (Eryn) of Santa Barbara, Mark (Monica) of Puerto Rico, and David (Allison) of Rancho Carrillo, eight grandchildren (Alison, Paige, Reed, Kyle, Rio, Payne, Isabel, and Sofia), brother Peter Brown and niece Chris Brown of Dallas, Texas, and cousins including Juliet McClaren of Riverside. The world is a better place for having this beautiful woman with us all these years and she will be greatly missed.
A memorial in celebration of her life is planned for Saturday February 23 at St. Margaret's Episcopal Church, corner of LaNovia Avenue and Ortega Highway, San Juan Capistrano, at 2PM. The family requests, that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to: COPD International, 131 DW Highway #627, Nashua, NH 03060; by credit card to: COPD International.com/donations.htm

Published in the Los Angeles Times on Jan. 29, 2013