Martha Parker  Donaldson
Martha Parker Donaldson

April 13, 1929 - November 5, 2018
Born in Waycross, Georgia
Resided in Waycross, Georgia
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Mrs. Martha Carswell Parker Donaldson, 89, died Monday (November 5, 2018) of natural causes. Born April 13, 1929, she was the youngest of four children born to William Cling Parker and Jessie Carswell Parker both of whom were natives and lifelong residents of Waycross.

Mrs. Donaldson graduated from Waycross High School in 1946 and from Georgia State College for Women in Milledgeville, GA in 1950. Having inherited from her mother an unusually lovely soprano voice, she majored in music and was a soloist with the college A Capella choir for her four years there.

Following graduation she taught elementary school in Waynesboro, Dalton, and Atlanta, GA before returning to Waycross to accept a position as children’s librarian in the Okefenokee Regional Library System there. During her teaching years she attended summer school at Peabody College, now part of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN where she earned a Masters degree in education. As children’s librarian she also attended Peabody where she received a Masters in Library Science. When the State of Georgia decided to combine smaller systems and hire a state-paid librarian to serve at least 100,000 people in some way, she was the first one selected for such a position, serving first in Okefenokee and Douglas, later in Waycross and Brunwick. During this period she decided to go back to school and get her 6th year degree (advanced masters degree) from Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL. The school offered her a grant for the last two quarters, and so she earned her last degree.

During that time she met and became engaged to James Donaldson in Waycross. They married and moved to Griffin, GA, where she worked in the library while he taught in high school and went to night school at Atlanta University to get another graduate degree. When he finished they moved back to Waycross, where she became director of the Okefenokee Library System, while he went to work at the newly established Waycross College.
The Donaldson’s were married for 34 happy years. They had no children, but have a number of nieces and nephews on both sides.

Mrs. Donaldson used her talents. She used her music, singing for funerals, weddings, and in the church choir at First Baptist Church in Waycross where her family on both sides had been members for a century. She taught Sunday School and when it was necessary she substituted as choir director. She became known in the community as a professional storyteller most likely remembered for telling the story of the “Pea Patch Murder”. She was named Woman of the Year by the Pilot Club.

She was also a licensed airplane pilot back when few women achieved such. She also volunteered for many years at the Ware State Prison directing the library program there.

A memorial service will be held 2:00 p.m. Wednesday (November 7, 2018) at First Baptist Church in Waycross. The family will be receiving friends Wednesday afternoon at the church beginning at 1:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers the family requests donations made in her honor to the Music Program at First Baptist Church, 702 Elizabeth St., Waycross, GA 31501 or Hospice Satilla, 808 Evergreen Way, Waycross, GA 31501.

Sympathy may be expressed by signing the online registry at

Music Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.




First Baptist Church
702 Elizabeth St.
Waycross, GA US 31501
Wednesday, November 7, 2018
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
First Baptist Church
702 Elizabeth St.
Waycross, GA US 31501
Wednesday, November 7, 2018
2:00 PM
Oakland Cemetery
2410 Alice St.
Waycross, GA US 31501
Wednesday, November 7, 2018