Amherst Magazine

J. Garfield Donelson

J. Garfield Donelson ’57 died April 11, 2011.
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J. GARFIELD DONELSON ’57

We were very saddened to learn of the passing of Gary Donelson on April 11, 2011. We grieve with Gary’s wife of 49 years, Ellen, and their two children, John and Elizabeth. He will be sorely missed by many.

Gary was born in Jamestown, N.Y., on Jan. 29, 1936. At Amherst, he majored in mathematics. He was a member of Theta Xi fraternity and was active in the glee club and varsity golf team. Of Amherst, Gary had the following to say in our 50th Reunion book: “My Amherst years were happy ones, with the possible exception of English 1 and 2, and I remember them fondly.”

Interestingly, Gary had several family members with Amherst ties. These include cousins Ridley J. Brown ’58, George W. Kidder III ’56 and Rushworth M. Kidder ’65. George W. Kidder Jr., professor of biology at Amherst while we were students at Amherst, was George W. III and Rushworth’s dad. Bailey L. Brown ’24, professor of mathematics while we were students, was Ridley’s dad and was likely instrumental in Gary’s selection of a major.

After a two-year hitch in the U.S. Army, Gary attended Harvard Business School, where he received an M.B.A. degree in 1961. Gary was a Baker Scholar, a high honor bestowed upon few highly deserving students. After Harvard, Gary began a 28-year career with Price Waterhouse & Co., where he rose to the level of general partner. Based in Atlanta since 1977, he worked in the management advisory services group. Gary retired in 1989. Gary and Ellen lived in Dunwoody, Ga., and were members of the Dunwoody Country Club. Yes, Gary continued his near-lifelong affection for the game of golf.

The past few years were tough for Gary and Ellen. About four years ago, he suffered a major back injury, which ultimately required the support of a walker. Ellen reports that Gary’s quality of life was at low ebb during his last days. Gary, rest in peace.

—William P. Donohue           ’57

 

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