John Withers Donaldson, Sr. ’41

John Withers Donaldson, Sr. ’41, of Statesville, N.C., passed away Apr. 1. He was born on May 21, 1919, in Mt. Mourne, N.C., son of the late Charles Lafayette and Sarah Jane Gouger Donaldson. Also preceding him in death were two brothers, three sisters, two half-brothers, and a grandson, Brett Donaldson. He retired from the U.S. Navy and on May 3, 1946, he married Martha Norris Donaldson, 531 Virginia Ave., Statesville, NC 28677. In addition to his wife, he is survived by children, John Donaldson, Jr. (Audrey), Ann Donaldson (Lary Gibson), Carol Donaldson, and Mary Smith (Jimmy). He is also survived by his grandchildren, Brian Donaldson and Jennifer G. Aday (Daniel); his great-grandson, Gavin Aday; his step-grandchildren, Tony Smith and Tracy Comer (Todd); step-great-grandchildren, Meredith and Scott Comer; and sisters-in-law, Ella Donaldson and Louise Mattichak (David), as well as numerous nieces and nephews. After a year at Davidson, he joined the U.S. Navy in November 1940. He retired in 1971 after 30 years of service. John served as Navy recruiter for Iredell, Wilkes, and Alexander counties for three years and was chief of recruiting in Raleigh at the time of retirement. He also served on four aircraft carriers. John was a member of First Presbyterian Church, where he served as a Sunday school teacher, deacon, elder, and a member of the choir for many years.