URBANA — Carletta Jo Donaldson was born July 13, 1962, to Carlos Franklin and Willeta Mae (Hassell) Donaldson, at Mercy Hospital, Urbana. On Sunday (July 7, 2019), Carletta went to glory with her Heavenly Father.
Carletta graduated from University of Illinois Laboratory High School in 1979, where she participated in cheerleading, the yearbook and the school newspaper. She also participated in the Gamma Upsilon Psi Society 8th Annual Cotillion Ball, where she won “Ms. Enterprise.” She then attended the University of Illinois, returning in 2006 to complete her degree in communications. She volunteered and worked at several organizations in the Champaign-Urbana community, including Red Lobster and the Douglass Park Juneteenth Celebration. She also recorded various community events, including the YWCA Friday Forums and producing the Project 500 anniversary program.
She participated in many community activities, including registering many people to vote and distributing a digital newsletter (It’s Going On! What’s Going On?). She attended many community events, often bringing her mom along with her. She was a member of the American Legion Post 559 Women’s Auxiliary. She was a member of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., Theta Lambda Zeta Chapter. She enjoyed traveling, especially with her parents and nephews.
She grew up attending Bethel AME Church (where she eventually served as a Sunday school teacher, YPD co-director, Usher Board member and occasional piano player). She later became a member of New Life Church of Faith in Urbana and Danville.
She leaves to cherish many wonderful memories her father, Carlos Donaldson Sr.; two brothers, Carlos (Mae) Donaldson Jr. and Dennis (Denise) Donaldson; nephews, Ryan C. Donaldson and Blake C. Donaldson (both of whom she was like a second mom to) and Chad (Cathy Boettcher) Pellum and Kyle Pellum; one niece, Amber (Justin) Duncan; two uncles, Joseph L. Hassell and Charles (Betty) Hassell; best friend since grade school, Regina Walker; a special young friend, Saniyah Murray; and many cousins and friends.
Carletta was preceded in death by her mother, Willeta M. Hassell Donaldson; maternal grandparents, Joseph and Hattie Hassell; paternal grandparents, Polk Kay and Amanda Howell Donaldson; as well as an uncle, aunts and cousins.
Family and friends will gather to bid Carletta J. Donaldson farewell at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 13, 2019, at Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church, with the Rev. Rickey Parks as officiant and Pastor Thomas Miller as eulogist. Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, July 12, and an hour prior to the service Saturday. The Zete Phi Bete sorority will honor their sister with a ceremony during the Friday night visitation at 7:15 p.m. She will await the resurrection in Lincoln Memorial Gardens, Urbana.
Carletta's departure leaves a tremendous void in our community, and she will be missed by all.
Perry's Twin City Mortuary Service, Champaign, is providing the family with the ministry of comfort.