Karen Lee Donaldson

Gilbert Funeral Home and Crematory

Obituaries | The Tube City Almanac | July 03, 2017

Karen Lee Donaldson, 69, of White Oak, died Saturday, June 24, 2017. She was born September 13, 1947 in McKeesport and was the daughter of the late John William and Lois Walt Donaldson. Karen was a retired music teacher and worked for the McKeesport Area School District for 32 years. She taught music at McKeesport Area High School also serving as Director of the Tiger Marching Band at the Senior High and finished her career Francis McClure Middle School. She was the first women band director in Pennsylvania. Karen was also Musical Director for the McKeesport Little Theater and was a musician for the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Newport Jazz Festival, and the former Holliday House in Monroeville.

She had previously worked at Elizabeth Forward and Norwin School Districts. Karen was a member of McKeesport Area Education Association, PSEA, NEA, PA Federation of Contest Judges, and the Women Band Directors Association. In 1987 she was nominated for the Silver Baton Award for Conductors. Karen was a graduate of McKeesport High School Class of 1965 and earned her Bachelors and Masters in Music Education at Duquesne University. She was a volunteer at the National Aviary, and the Round Hill Food Pantry and Clothes Closet. There is no visitation. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Karen L. Donaldson Music Scholarship, McKeesport Area Education Foundation, 3590 O'Neil Blvd. McKeesport PA 15132 Att: Paula Milko. Arrangements are by the Gilbert Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc. 1638 Lincoln Way, White Oak. (412) 672-6322 Troy J. Gilbert, director. Condolences may be made at

Originally published July 03, 2017.

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