Cover photo for Eloise Donalson's Obituary
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1923 Eloise 2012

Eloise Donalson

March 18, 1923 — April 7, 2012

Eloise Fitzgerald Donalson, 89, of Ashland, peacefully went to be with the Lord on Saturday, April 7, 2012, at her home. She was a 50-year member of First United Methodist Church of Ashland.

Eloise was born March 18, 1923, in Grandview, W.Va., the daughter of the late Jeremiah and Dolly Fitzgerald.

She is survived by her husband of 64 years, Gordon; their son, Gary, and daughter-in-law, Lisa, and two grandsons she was most proud of, Andre and Alex. She is also survived by her sister, June Thurman of Beckley, W.Va., who had a special place in her heart. She also loved her two cats, Miss Kitty and Shadow, and her sheepdog, Baby Bear.

Survivors also include many nephews and nieces whom she loved so dearly. She was also preceded in death by a daughter, Mary Lynn Donalson; two sisters, Dickie Tsatsos of Detroit and Arlene Potts of Philadelphia; and two brothers, Jerry Wayne Fitzgerald and Ronald Fitzgerald of Beckley.

Eloise graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in Beckley and immediately went to work for the Raleigh County Board of Education. During this time, she would travel by train to what is now the Greenbrier Resort and helped as a nurse's aide to returning World War II soldiers. She married her childhood sweetheart, Gordon, and they moved to Bowling Green, where he pursued his accounting degree while she worked for the Warren Rural Co-op as a secretary. They moved to Kingsport, Tenn., for a year before settling in Ashland. Eloise worked at Second National bank for eight years before beginning employment at the Kentucky Educational Development Corp., where she retired with 17 years of service.

Eloise loved following the local music scene, loved listening to all types of music and could tell you which national act had the newest video or catchiest song out at the time. She and Gordon were devout fans of Gary's music career and traveled all over the eastern United States to hear him play. She was always so happy when the musicians would come off the road and stay at their home, and she would cook for them and listen to them play their music. In the past few years, Eloise loved to watch cooking shows on TV, always wanting to try something different. Eloise and Gordon would have celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary this year and had recently been chosen to have their marriage chronicled by HBO/BBC Films for a documentary on lifelong marriage partners.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, April 12 at Steen Funeral Home-Central Avenue Chapel in Ashland by the Rev. John Street. Burial will be in Rose Hill Burial Park in Ashland.

Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home.

Donations in her memory may be sent to First United Methodist Church, 1811 Carter Ave., Ashland, KY 41101.

Condolences may be sent to

Service Details

Thursday, April 12th, 2012 11:00am

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