Karlene Elizabeth Donaldson

September 7, 1944 - August 17, 2022

Karlene Elizabeth Donaldson, 77, of Houston, died Wednesday, August 17, 2022. She was born on September 7, 1944, in Beaumont, to Ida Caroline Zwicker Kirkland and Joseph Clark Kirkland.

Karlene graduated from South Park High School in 1962. She attended Lamar University, where in her junior year she received an offer from the Federal Bureau of Intelligence. After working for the FBI for five years, she went to work for Hernandez Contractors, a NASA sub-contractor, in typing and technical manuscripts. Karlene later was promoted to Technical Editor. She was active in her church serving as a Lector and any other way she could help. Karlene also loved watching the Houston Astros and reading.

Survivors include her son, Matthew D. Donaldson of Conroe; daughter, Amanda Lee Donaldson of Houston; granddaughter, Ella Donaldson; brother, Roy D. Kirkland and his wife, Patsy, of Beaumont; niece, Debra Kirkland Penrod and her husband, James, of Friendswood; great-nieces, Morgan Kirkland Ross and her husband, Jared, and Jeana Emilie Penrod; and great-nephews, James Davis Penrod and his wife, Victoria, and Daniel Jacob Penrod.

She was preceded in death by her parents; son, Mark Donaldson; brother, Joseph Daniel “J.D.” Kirkland; and nephew, Daniel “Danny” Michael Kirkland.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church, 6825 Gladys Avenue, Beaumont Texas 77706; Alzheimer’s Association, 225 North Michigan Avenue, Floor 17, Chicago, Illinois 60601; or St. Luke The Evangelist Catholic Church, 11011 Hall Road, Houston Texas 77089.

A gathering of Mrs. Donaldson’s family and friends will begin at 12:00 p.m., with her Rosary to be recited at 12:30 p.m., and a Memorial Mass to be celebrated at 2:00 p.m., Monday, August 29, 2022, at St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church, 6825 Gladys Avenue, Beaumont, under the direction of Broussard’s, 2000 McFaddin Avenue, Beaumont. There will be a reception to follow Mass in Culotta Hall. A burial of her cremated body will be held at a later date at Forest Park East Cemetery, Webster, Texas.


Download Program

Gathering of Family and Friends

St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church
  • 6825, Gladys Ave, Beaumont, TX, 77706,
  • August 29, 2022
  • 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm


St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church
  • 6825, Gladys Ave, Beaumont, TX, 77706,
  • August 29, 2022
  • 12:30 pm

Memorial Mass

St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church
  • 6825, Gladys Ave, Beaumont, TX, 77706,
  • August 29, 2022
  • 2:00 pm

Reception to follow Mass

Culotta Hall at St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church
  • 6825, Gladys Avenue, Beaumont, Texas, 77706,

Comments (6)

    James Dalton Byrd says:

    Sing, Wounded Soul

    I cannot hold your cries,
    they slip through my fingers.
    I cannot take away your pain,
    it lies so far beyond my reach.
    I cannot dig out your sorrow,
    its roots are too deep.
    I cannot chase away your fears,
    they hide and creep out later.
    I can only tell you, you are loved.
    So, sing, wounded soul…
    your tears do not fall into emptiness.

    Grady C says:

    So sorry to hear the loss of your Mom. I know it’s been difficult the last couple of years with what ya’ll went thru. Mom’s getting there too.
    Thoughts & prayers for you and Lil’ Red.

    Grady C.

    james dan durdin says:

    Dear Roy: I see now that Karlene is with the Lord. I’m sorry that she is not here with you all now, but you will see her again, as has been promised us. So, that is a joy for her and for you amidst your sorrow. Remember that Our Lady, Mary went through this, and she knows, and is with you. Please contact me in the future, when you can. Danny Durdin

    Kathy Johnson Young says:

    I’m sorry the world has lost Karlene. We had a journalism class together in high school. She had a real talent for writing and a good sense of humor. My condolences to her family. I am so sorry for your loss.

    Carol Corbin says:

    I am so very saddened to read of Karlene’s passing. Smart and spirited, Karlene was a good friend to me when we were in high school and for some while after that. The memories of those times make me smile. Please accept my heartfelt condolences in your loss.

    Carol Achenbach Corbin

    Vietnam Veterans of America SETX Chapter 292 says:

    Roy, Patsy and family we are sorry for your loss. Prayers for comfort and peace to all of you.

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