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Donna Ann Ash Jaoudi

1939 - 2014 Obituary Condolences
Jaoudi, Donna Ann Ash VISTA -- Donna Ann Ash Jaoudi, 74, died at her home in Vista, California, on May 11, 2014, Mother's Day. Donna was born in 1939 in Detroit, Michigan, to Donald and Helen Young Ash. While her father served in WWII and thereafter, Donna and her sister Pat were raised by her aunt and uncle, Cleo and Lawrence Vessels, who moved the family to Culver City, California. Donna graduated from Notre Dame Academy, Los Angeles. After a brief time as a convent novice, she left to work in the medical field at UCLA. At twenty, after a short courtship, she married her husband of 54 years, Joe Jaoudi. In 1970, Donna and Joe moved to Liberia with their young children to help build the family business. It was here that Donna found her love of charity and advocacy. The family returned to California in 1975, where Donna built a home that she graciously shared with the community. She dedicated herself to others, as president of the PTA at several schools, co-founder of the Team Parent program at Vista High School, co-founder of The Moonlight Angels theater foundation, and co-founder of Parents Who Care. Her many and varied passions included photography, theater and film, Lebanese cuisine, animal welfare, travel, writing, shopping and, above all, family and friends. Her nickname, "Momma Jaoudi," reflected a universal love and unencumbered generosity. Her home was invariably full of a U.N. cast of characters from Brazil, Gambia, France, Chile, Germany, Liberia, Lebanon, even New York. She opened her heart and home to all. She will be remembered for her deadpan humor, blunt straight talk, honest evaluation and dogged loyalty (especially to her beloved poodle, Brownie). Donna is survived by her dedicated husband, Joe; by her son, Daniel, his wife Meghan, and their children, Marley and Tosh; by her daughter, Juliana; and by her daughter Sabrina, her fiancé, Dominick, and their daughter, Justice. She is also survived by her sister, Jan Ritch and her family; her niece, Nina Timonian and her family; and a tribe of nieces, nephews, great- nieces and great-nephews in Lebanon and the United States. A memorial service will be held from 3 to 6 p.m., on Friday, May 16, at the Vista Optimist Club, Vista. Expressions of sympathy may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and The Moonlight Foundation.

Published in The San Diego Union Tribune on May 16, 2014
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