Obituary: Cherry Calletto Donaldson

Mother, music teacher, garage sale-er

Cherry C. Donaldson, a 43-year Claremont resident, died peacefully on Friday, June 2 after a long decline due to old age and Parkinson’s disease. She was 91.

Born in 1932 in the small town of Sodus, NY, she grew up in the farm and apple country of Alton, NY, five miles from the shores of Lake Ontario. She went to Ithaca College (when it was still downtown!) and graduated in 1954 with a degree in music education.

After college she moved closer to New York City and landed in Suffern, NY. There she made her living as a vocal music teacher for children kindergarten through eighth grade.

In 1958 she met Tom Donaldson when they were both members of the Ridgewood Singers. They married, continued to live in Suffern, and had two children. The family moved to Claremont in 1980.

Once landing in Claremont, she returned to teaching vocal music at several of the elementary schools around town, finally ending her 55-year career with a 32-year stint at Foothill Country Day School.

She was a fixture at garage sales around town every Saturday morning and afterwards could often be found enjoying rice and beans at Los Jarritos in Pomona, her favorite place to eat!

She is survived by her son James (Terri) Donaldson, of Upland; and daughter Martha (Sharon) Donaldson-Wheatley of New York City.

A celebration of life will be planned at a future date.


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