Helen Donaldson Catron
1917 - 2020
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Helen Donaldson Catron

Oak Ridge - Helen Donaldson Catron, 103, of Oak Ridge, died September 20, 2020 with her family in attendance. Born to the Reverend David Warren and Roxy Gibson Donaldson on February 15, 1917, in Washington, PA, she was a lifelong member of the Methodist Church.

She and her late husband, Bert G. Catron, moved to Oak Ridge in 1943 during World War II, where they became members of the First United Methodist Church and where she served the Church fellowship and United Methodist Women faithfully over the years in a variety of offices and supportive roles. She was an elementary school teacher for many years, having graduated from Tennessee Wesleyan College, Union College, and completing graduate coursework at the University of Tennessee and George Peabody College for Teachers. She was a beloved and dedicated classroom teacher remembered with fondness and appreciation by former students and their parents. She served the teaching profession as president of the Oak Ridge Chapter of the Association for Childhood Education International; was an active member of Delta Kappa Gamma, a society for key women educators; and held several offices in the Oak Ridge Retired Teachers Association. She also served the community as a Girl Scout Leader and held offices in the DAR.

In addition to her roles as a faithful church member, dedicated teacher, and committed community volunteer, her most important and fulfilling role was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and great great-grandmother who loved and supported her family unconditionally.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Bert Gillis Catron; her brother Lawrence Donaldson; her sisters, Ruth Donaldson and Naomi D. Ritchie; her son, Donald G. Catron; and her daughter, Barbara C. Parks.

She is survived by her daughter, Carol E. Catron, and son-in-law James E. Parks, seven grandchildren, Karen Catron Smith, Suzan Catron Booker (Stephen), Donald Gibson Catron Jr. (Shannon), Sharon Parks Peake (Graham), James E. Parks II (Cheryl), Kermit H. Parks (Susan), Christine Parks Cheney (Jason), fourteen great grandchildren Carson, Spring, and Baylor Smith; Reese and Spencer Catron; Sam, Georgia, and Benjamin Peake; Emily and Natalie Parks; Carinne and Jacob Cheney; and Andrew and Rachel Parks. And one great great-grandchild Hazel Smith.

The funeral service will be held at First United Methodist Church of Oak Ridge at 2 PM on Friday, September 25 with the Rev. Jenny Caughman officiating and burial to follow at Oak Ridge Memorial Park. Masks are required and guests will be socially distanced.

In lieu of flowers, those who wish to honor Helen's life may do so with gifts to the First United Methodist Church, Oak Ridge pastoral visitation endowment. Arrangements by Weatherford Mortuary. An online guestbook can be signed at www.weatherfordmortuary.com.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Knoxville News Sentinel from Sep. 22 to Sep. 23, 2020.
Funeral service
02:00 PM
First United Methodist Church
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September 23, 2020
Helen was my mother's best friend and my friend. She bravely came out in the snow a few years ago to Mom's funeral. It was comforting to see her in the audience. They taught together at Willow Brook Elementary and I would see her at church and DAR events. She was a wonderful person with a great sense of humor. I have good memories of a trip to Florida taken by Helen, her daughter, Carol, my mother and I......the Golden Girls and the Baby Boomers! The visits I had with her the last few years were special. I will miss her.
Mary Jane Randolph
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