Donna McPherson

Donna McPherson

URBANA – Donna F. Knudson McPherson, 100, of Urbana left this life at 4:58 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, at her residence at Clark-Lindsey Village, 101 W. Windsor Road, Urbana, with loving family by her side.

A Celebration of Donna's Life Memorial Service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at the Clark-Lindsey Huegy Lounge. Burial will take place at a later date in Rienzi Cemetery, Fond du Lac, Wis.

Sunset Funeral Home and Cremation Center, 710 N. Neil St., Champaign, is handling arrangements. Please join Donna's family in sharing memories and photos on her tribute wall at

Donna was born March 26, 1912, in Fond du Lac, Wis. She was the daughter of Gustov and Edith Lipp Finger. They preceded her in death.

Donna grew up in Fond du Lac, Wis., in a family of four girls. She received her bachelor's degree, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, from Northwestern University and a master's degree from the University of Wisconsin. After teaching English at Sheboygan High School, she obtained a graduate degree in Library Sciences at Columbia University in New York.

In 1944, Donna came to the University of Illinois to be the librarian in the School of Library Science. Her next positions were as head librarian at the Kansas City, Mo., Public Library and head of the General Reference Department at the Encoh Pratt Library in Baltimore.

In 1960, Donna married Charles Knudson, the head of the French Department at the University of Illinois. Charles preceded Donna in death in 1976.

Nine years later in 1985, Donna married William McPherson, a longtime faculty member of the Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations in Champaign. This union brought with it three stepdaughters, six stepgrandchildren and seven step-great-grandchildren.

During her life, Donna remained extremely close to her niece, Karin (John) Randolph, of Minocqua, Wis.; and her two nephews, Jim (Cathy) Wank of Shelby Township, Mich., and Bob (Sabina) Wank of Huntsville, Ala.; along with eight grandnieces and grandnephews; and 10 great-grandnieces and great-grandnephews.

Besides her parents and husbands, Donna was also preceded in death by her sisters, Wava Candlish, Verna Torgerson and Dorothy Wank; and a stepdaughter.

Donna was known by her family to be gracious, friendly and intellectual. She enjoyed reading, music, sports and politics. She was a member of Alpha Chi Omega, The American Library Association, and the Friends of the Urbana Free Library, where she served as president at one time. She was also a member of the Wesley United Methodist Church and the Women's Club UIUC.

In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, memorial donations in Donna's memory can be made to Clark-Lindsey Legacy Fund or the Urbana Free Library.