Garland Leon Donaldson, 84, “Mr. Smiley” of Little Rock, passed away April 8, 2017 after a long illness.
Born and raised on a small farm in Plum Bayou, Arkansas, when asked if he had a football team at his school, he said it was so small that even with all the girls combined there wasn’t enough kids to have a team. After high school, he joined the US Army and served in the Korean War. While enlisted, he met and married the love of his life Shirley J. Smith. They were married for over 50 years before her passing in 2007. After returning home, he worked at the International Paper Mill in Pine Bluff. After he left the Paper Mill, he began a career with Miracle Maid Cookware and later became the District Sales Manager. He retired after almost 30 years.
Leon had a big ol’ mischievous smile that could light up the world. He loved playing jokes and telling stories. He had a joke for everything, although not always in good taste, he had a joke for it. And while most of his stories were almost true, you couldn’t help but laugh and forget about your troubles. His ornery smile will be missed.
His favorite pastimes were camping, hunting, and fishing with his family. What skills he lacked as a hunter, he made up for in fishing. He loved anything he could do with his family, and they will have memories they can forever cherish. Lastly, he loved Cardinals Baseball and anything Razorback.
He was proceeded in death by his wife, Shirley. Survived by sons Jerry (Brenda) Donaldson and Jimmy Donaldson; daughters Joyce (T.C.) Meerdink, Judy (late Terry) Hicks and Robin (Scott) King. Grandchildren: Chris (Connie) Hogue, Jeremy (Amanda) Hogue; Shane (Mary) Preator, Tim (Darrah) Preator, TC Dunn (Lauren); Matt (Julie) Donaldson, David (Brittany) Donaldson, Tabitha Donaldson, Alanna Nighswager; Jessica (Dan) Hamilton, Ashley (Jay) Sawatski, Kimberly Hicks; Scott Butler, Jordan and Dakota King and several great grandchildren. A special thank you to great grandchildren Rylee Dunn and Paxton Sawatski for their frequent visits to see Pops.
We would also like to express our heartfelt gratitude to the Staff at Greystone Nursing and Rehabilitation in Cabot, Arkansas where he was a resident for the last four years. We cannot thank them enough for the care and compassion shown to him.
A memorial service will be held at Westminster Presbyterian Church, April 20, 2017. Visitation 6:00-7:00. Service to follow. Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1325 John Calvin Dr. Little Rock, AR 72206.
Cremation Arrangements are under the care and direction of A Natural State Funeral Service, 2620 West Main Street, Jacksonville, Arkansas, 72076. 501-982-3400.