Donna A. Donelan
Oct. 4, 1936 – Nov. 20, 2020
Donna Jean Aronson Donelan, died November 20, 2020 after battling Alzheimer’s disease and COVID-19. She was born on October 4, 1936 in Blair, Nebraska.
Donna was preceded in death by her parents, Chester C. and Florence McDonald Aronson; her husband, Paul Michael Donelan, and also her sister, Lila Aronson Rapier and brother, Bill Aronson. She is survived by her children, Suzanne Donelan Taylor (George) of Henrico, Virginia, and Thomas Andrew Donelan (Donna Lee) of Whippany, New Jersey; her grandchildren, Kristopher and Michael Martin, Ryan and Austin Taylor (Leah) and Sophia Donelan; great-grandson, Denver Taylor; brother, Bob Aronson (Mabel) and sister, Joan Aronson Connealy (Neil, deceased), and several nieces and nephews and many friends.
The youngest of five children, Donna was raised in Tekamah, Nebraska. She graduated from Tekamah Senior High School in 1954 and the Charity Hospital of Louisiana at New Orleans School of Nursing in 1958. Donna worked as a Registered Nurse in Nebraska, Indiana, Iowa and Virginia, and began and ended her nursing career in the operating room; she also worked the 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift for a few years in the emergency room. She also served as President of the local chapter of the Association of Operating Room Nurses (AORN) in Lynchburg, Virginia in 1992-1993. If asked about her long nursing career, she proudly said she “helped repair hearts and heads.”
Donna also created lovely sewing and needlepoint projects for the home and her family. Over her lifetime she made clothing for her daughter, granddaughter and herself and her beautiful, needlepoint Christmas stockings are proudly displayed by her family every year. She was a voracious reader, Scrabble player and crossword puzzler and a wonderful cook, gardener and homemaker.
Donna was a gifted singer and after retirement she and husband Mike sang with the Jefferson Choral Society in Lynchburg, Virginia, as well as church choirs at Quaker Memorial Presbyterian in Lynchburg and Grace Episcopal Church in Kilmarnock, Virginia. Their participation in the Jefferson Choral Society provided them an opportunity to tour internationally with the choir throughout many European Union countries and also to England and Scotland. Donna’s beautiful soprano voice could also be heard singing during concerts and church services at her memory care facilities in Kilmarnock and Mechanicsville, Virginia.
Donna was also a member of the P.E.O. Sisterhood for over 50 years and enjoyed participating in chapter meetings and fundraisers in Nebraska, Iowa and Virginia.
The family of Donna wishes to extend our sincere thanks to the amazing staff at Heritage Green Assisted Living in Mechanicsville and At Home Care Hospice for caring for Donna during the end stages of her journey with Alzheimer’s and for their loving work and sacrifice during the terrible COVID-19 pandemic.
Memorial donations would be appreciated to: AORN Foundation (The Association of periOperative Registered Nurses), 2170 S. Parker Road, Suite 400 Denver, Colorado 80231; foundation.aorn.org. or the American Nurses Foundation, P.O. Box 504342, St. Louis, Missouri 63150-4342; nursingworld.org.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.
To A Nurse – Author unknown
To be a Nurse is to walk with God, along the path that our Master trod,
To sooth the achings of human pain, to faithfully serve for little gain;
To lovingly do the kindly deed, a cup of water to one in need;
A tender hand on a fevered brow; a word of cheer in the living now;
To reach the soul thru Its body’s woe, Ah! this is the way that Jesus would go.
Oh, white capped girls in Service true, our great Physician’s working thru you!
She will be missed by her family and friends Bless her heart she had a struggle in the end She is now reunited with her great husband My prayers are with the family
What A Wonderful Life❤️ Her & Mike Obviously Where Meant To Meant. To Be Together. Sending Prayers 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻‘S To The Family. We’d Luv To Come To The Funeral Services, However… Health Issues Will Keep Us From Coming. Know You Understand.
It has been an honor to share part of this journey. May your best memories of her beautiful life and Love that is forever give you peace, strength, and comfort always.
I didn’t know some of those things about Donna ! It makes my heart happy that she and Mike are reunited . Prayers for Suzanne and brother at this difficult time. It’s not easy losing our parents, but God will see you through with His peace and comfort.
I had the privilege of working with Donna for many years in the Lynchburg General Hospital OR and she proved herself to be a caring and capable RN. She and Mike could always be counted on to join in the seasonal festivities at the annual Anesthesia Christmas party. I wish to extend my sympathy to her family.
I worked with Donna many years and have so many wonderful memories.she was a mentor to me and an excellent teacher to so many in the Operating Room , what a great nurse she was.
When I think of the nurses I worked with from the “greatest generation” who served so selflessly Donna quickly comes to mind but I will also think of her whenever we enjoy the blackberry cobbler recipe she shared with us.
Paul Mudrick, MD
Thanks for sharing Dr. Mudrick! Our mom was an excellent cook as well as a great nurse. The holidays weren’t complete without fudge, peanut brittle, oatmeal date sandwich cookies (aka hamburgers) and sugar cookies with touch of nutmeg in the dough. I still make her famous peanut brittle every year with Plantation Peanuts from Wakefield, VA. For Christmas dessert, a chocolate jelly roll cake filled with peppermint ice cream. Rolling sheet cake is not for the faint of heart! I’ve had many near disasters! I’ve also discarded several failed peanut brittle batches. Sincerely, Tom Donelan
My brother Tom and I sincerely appreciate the kind thoughts and remembrances of our mother. Thanks for taking the time to post a note.
Sincerely, Suzanne Taylor and Family
My heartfelt sympathy for the loss of Donna. We sang together at QMPC and in the Lynchburg College
Choral Union. We also enjoyed fun and fellowship in Deltaville , Va. Sincerely, Sharon Kerr Johnston
Sharon, Thanks for sharing! I cherish the memories singing at Quaker Memorial with Hadley Hunt as our director and Bernard Bangley in the pulpit. Thanks to my parents, we also had the opportunity to tour Eastern Europe with the Jefferson Choral Society in the mid 90’s.