Donna A. McPherson was born in Plainfield, New Jersey on June 2, 1963 to the late Melvin McPherson and Jean Young. Donna was the youngest and only female born to this union, which she loved to use to her advantage with her brothers Dwayne and Kevin McPherson, who preceded her in death. However, Donna did not remain the only girl; she was blessed with a stepdad Jessie Young and baby sister Jessica Young. Peacefully, she departed this life on Thursday April 19, 2018 at the age of 54.
Donna graduated from Clara Barton Vocational High School in 1981 and went on to obtain both her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Evergreen State College and Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Liberty University online program. At the time of her passing, she was pursuing her PHd in Curriculum and Instruction from Capella University.
Helping others was her passion. Following her studies, Donna worked as a teacher with the Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy, an educational alternative program for troubled military teens. But Donna also had an entrepreneurial spirit and loved to march to her own beat. In 2011, Donna formed her own business as a Life Coach Consultant, contracting with various agencies to provide values and skills to individuals with mental, physical and/or developmental disabilities. She worked tirelessly to help others in need both in her profession and daily life.
Donna’s greatest joy was her three children: Ivan Johnson Sr., Kendele Johnson and Cortlen Stegall. She leaves to mourn her two sons: Ivan Johnson Sr and Cortlen Stegall, one daughter in law, Nina Johnson, one sister, Jessica Young, a stepfather, Jessie Young, three aunts: Heleyne Jones, Lynette Jones and Veronica Foster, four grandchildren: Ajanae Johnson, Makaela Johnson, Ivan Johnson Jr and Kendele Johnson II, one nephew Kaseem McPherson, four nieces: Myche’le McPherson, Christiana McPherson, Alexis McPherson and Genesis Young-Sablon and a host of relatives and friends.
Donna will be remembered for her serious demeanor, gurgling laugh, and the joy she brought to the lives of all she touched.