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Donaldson Shawn (DAVID) of Hamtramck, MI, age 44, died suddenly on Wednesday, September 14, 2011. He was born in Jackson, MI on September 21, 1966, the son of Susan (Shaughnessy) Cushnier and Charles Donaldson. Shawn was a graduate of the Detroit Waldorf School and continued his education at The University of Michigan-Dearborn where he earned his Bachelor's degree in English, Secondary Education. He had been a teacher for Detroit Public Schools and hosted the Folk Dance Cafe during his early years in Michigan. While living in Raleigh, NC, St. Louis,MO and for two years in Sofia, Bulgaria he was employed as an arts administrator and international dance leader, researcher, performer and teacher. The prolific producer of a multitude of community theater shows and numerous large scale arts events, Shawn's passion for music, theater, folk cultures and dance is the enduring legacy of artistic talents, goodness and intellect which will be remembered by his beloved family and devoted friends. Survivors include his parents, Alex and Susan Cushnier and Charles Donaldson; his children Sasha and Isaiah Donaldson of Durham,NC, and Caitlyn Steiner of MI, currently in Australia; loving brothers Khim and Robin Cushnier, and grandmother Olga Cushnier of Hamtramck, MI; and several aunts, uncles and cousins. A memorial service to celebrate Shawn's richly textured life will be held at the former setting of his Folk Dance Cafe, the Polonia restaurant, 2934 Yemans, Hamtramck, MI, 48212 on Sunday, November 20, 2011 at 2 p.m. Online condolences and personal messages for the family may be sent to

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Published in The Detroit News on Nov. 12, 2011.