Joseph Donaldson was born on May 6, 1946, in Madison, Florida, the son of the late Audrey and Oliver Donaldson, Sr. Joseph attended public schools in Madison, Florida. He graduated in 1964, from the Madison County Training School, where he received honors. After graduation in 1964, Joe enlisted in the United States Army; here, he received special honors in transportation. He was honorably discharged in 1968.
In 1967, he was united in holy matrimony to Dorothy Jean Aikens and from this union two children were born, Tracie and Joseph, Jr. He and his family relocated to Delaware in 1969. Joe loved and appreciated his relationship with his entire family. Although he moved from Madison, Joe and his family visited home in Madison twice every year, in July and in November. After the grandchildren were born, they also learned the value of family and of going home to Madison, as he and Jean took them along on the trips twice a year.
Deacon Donaldson became a member of Rock of Ages Baptist Church in 1970, where he sang with the Young Adult Choir, the Gospel Choir and the Male Chorus. He was ordained as a deacon in 1977 and was Chairman of the Deacon Board for the past six (6) years. He also attended Rock of Ages Sunday School and Bible classes.
Mr. Donaldson worked as a Warehouse Supervisor for the Port of Wilmington for 32 years, retiring in 2002. From 1974-1989, he worked as a part time Family Advocate for Congo Funeral Home in Wilmington, Delaware. He had also been a bus driver for Bethel AME Church, Aladdin Bus Line, and Eagle Transportation. He later drove the bus for Terry Apartments transporting their senior residents for a number of years.
Joe and his brother, Clarence, had a tradition of going fishing. Upon return, there was a large family fish fry. The men were outside joking, reminiscing, and enjoying their time together while the women were inside cooking enjoying themselves as well. The following Sunday morning, the entire family would rise and go to church together. . He departed this life suddenly on February 26, 2019, in Wilmington, Delaware. In addition to his late parents, Joe was preceded in death by a daughter, Tracie Denise Donaldson; his siblings, Oliver Jr., Rufus, Chandler, Enoch, Clarence, Julia Mae and Theora.
He leaves to cherish his precious memory his devoted wife, Dorothy Jean Donaldson; one son, Joseph F. Donaldson; four grandchildren, Shakirea , Joseph III, Ayerjhanae, and Jodie; siblings, Albert J. Donaldson, Dr. James A. Donaldson, and Ollie Mae Wall (Grady); a god daughter, Phyllis Jean Brown (Clifford); a devoted friend, Doll Lum; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.