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Patricia F. Donaldson

March 17, 1930 June 21, 2016
Patricia F. Donaldson
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Obituary for Patricia F. Donaldson

Patricia F. Donaldson died peacefully at her home in Birmingham, June 21, 2016. She was 86 years old. Patricia was born March 17, 1930, in Detroit to Rose (nee Smiley) and Albert Fleming.

Born and raised in Detroit, Patricia attended St. Mary’s of Redford Parish, where she met Bruce Donaldson. They were married in 1952. Together, they had five children, including one who died in infancy. While her children were in school, she attended law school at the University of Detroit and became an attorney. She ultimately specialized in probate law and served as a public administrator in Oakland County. After Bruce’s death, she went back to school and obtained a Doctorate in Divinity. In 2002 she reconnected with a former St. Mary’s classmate, William Fitzgerald, and they became constant companions.

Patricia was an avid reader and excellent student and prided herself in continuing to expand her mind until the very end. She loved to travel and would use the time away to learn the history, geography, and literature of her destinations. Always an adventurous spirit, she loved to show her lack of fear; for example, she zip-lined through the jungle when she was nearly 80 years old.

A woman of enormous faith, she read voraciously on the subject and attended Mass daily. Her generosity to numerous charities exemplified her commitment to her Christian beliefs. She was also a devoted and demanding mother whose constant sacrifices for her children provided a real example of how to do things with grace and dignity. She was delighted with the birth of each of her grandchildren and great grandchildren and would cross examine the parents to learn their progress and their challenges. She wanted to insure that the children were loved and being brought up the right way. A devoted woman of great intelligence, compassion, and faith, Patrica Donaldson was deeply loved and will be sorely missed by many.

She is survived by her children, Bruce (Barbara) Donaldson, Robert (Cathy) Donaldson, Douglas (Paula) Donaldson, and Maryanna (Paul) Hathaway. She is also survived by 11 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren, her sister, Sr. Suzanne Fleming, IHM, and her loving companion, William Fitzgerald. Patricia is preceded in death by her beloved husband, J. Bruce Donaldson.

Friends may visit at Lynch & Sons Funeral Home, 1368 N. Crooks Road (between 14-15 Mile Rds.) Thursday, June 23rd, 3-8pm. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at Holy Name Catholic Church, 630 Harmon, Birmingham, Friday, June 24th, at 10am. Friends may visit at church beginning at 9:30am. Burial will take place in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Southfield.

Memorials appreciated to Loyola High School, 15325 Pinehurst Street, Detroit, Michigan 48238.


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