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DONOHUE, Charlene Joy (nee MacDonald)

August 19, 1963 – Brantford, ON
November 8, 2014 – Calgary, AB

Charlene Joy Donohue (nee MacDonald) loved life to its fullest. On November 8, 2014, she passed away peacefully at home in the presence of her loving family at the age of 51.

Charlene was born on August 19, 1963 in Brantford, Ontario. She graduated from the University of Western Ontario in 1986 with an Honours Business Administration degree and went on to have a very successful career in Information Systems and e-Learning/training with Nortel, Calgary Board of Education and Telus.

Charlie, as she was known by her family and friends, met her soul mate in 1986 and they were married on June 2, 1990. They welcomed their first daughter, Katie on October 26, 1993 and their second daughter, Marie on May 21, 1996. Included in the family unit was at least one, if not two dogs at all times. Family values and dedication to spending quality time with each other were Charlene’s highest priority and source of joy.

Charlene could see magic in everything. She would plan outings to participate in nature’s magic: Sunshine Mountain wildflowers, Fish Creek Park, she even recreated the magic in fairy gardens in her own backyard. Charlene’s love and skill in photography captured all that she saw and appreciated.
Charlene loved turning the ordinary into extraordinary. Her creativity showed no limits and examples abound in her home, especially at Christmas where magic again was the theme.

Charlene had time for everyone. She stayed involved in their lives and made them feel important. Her nurturing resulted in relationships that span three generations and brought them mutual comfort.

Wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt or friend, whatever role Charlene played was carried out with class, integrity, compassion and a true understanding of human nature. She did it all with patience, tolerance, a sense of humour and a lightness that show why she was so treasured in life and will continue to be in all those who love her.

Charlene is survived by her mother Jeanette (Valentine) MacDonald; loving husband and best buddy Jim Donohue; devoted daughters Kathryn (Katie) Donohue and Marie Donohue of whom she was so proud; sisters Lynda Duncan, Deb (Dave) Edge, Sue (David Cox) MacDonald and Heather (Rick) Robertson; eight nieces and nephews and six great-nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her father Iain MacDonald.

A Funeral Service will be held on Saturday, November 15, 2014 at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, Markham, Ontario. There will be a visitation in the church sanctuary at 12:00 p.m. and the service at 1:00 p.m. Following the service, relatives and friends are invited to meet with the family in the Reception Center at the church and celebrate Charlene’s life. Forward condolences through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to the Canadian Cancer Society, 200 – 325 Manning Rd. N.E., Calgary, AB T2E 2P5 Telephone: (403) 205-3966, email donorservices@cancer.ab.ca.

In living memory of Charlene Donohue, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Fish Creek, 14441 BANNISTER ROAD S.E. Telephone: 403-256-9575.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Sincerest condolences to you and your family in this very difficult time.

    Martin

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  2. Shawn Galbraith :

    This news is hard to hear. I reported to Charlene at TELUS back in 2011/ 2012; she was full of positive energy and a can-do attitude. She loved her family more than anything else in the world. She was always speaking about her two daughters, her loving husband, and how much she loved going out running with her dogs in Fish Creek Park. When I think about Charlene at work, the two words I would describe her with is “creative” and “imaginative”. She had so many great ideas and was keenly interested in refreshing one’s approach to adult learning with new concepts and ways of training.

    My thoughts go out to her family during this difficult time. She had great influence on those that she worked with – I miss her.

    Sincerely,

    Shawn Galbraith

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  3. Cindy Loudfoot :

    Jim, Katie and Marie, I was shocked and saddened today with the news of Charlene’s passing. She was a true inspiration to me on our monthly chats. I cannot imagine the void you will all feel for some time. She was a passionate, inspirational and creative woman. She will be missed. You have my heartfelt sympathy.

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  4. Shelly Pawelko :

    I wa saddened to hear the news of Charlene’s passing. I too worked
    with her at TELUS and enjoyed many conversations about training
    and facilitation. The last time I saw Charlene was this past spring and as usual, she was full of life and had great life stories. Always enjoyed her stories of the bird watching and her girls.
    My thoughts are with you and your family at this difficult time.

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  5. Dear Jim, Katie and Marie,
    My deepest sympathy on the loss of this incredible woman. We shared a lot of love and laughs at Volleyball watching the girls play, and shared a lot about “life” and the circumstances we found ourselves in. She was a great listener and always asked about others, putting everyone’s needs in front of her own. I am saddened that she has left us all too soon. Please know our thoughts are with you all, and with her family in Ontario (which we feel very privileged to have met). We will be thinking of you all this weekend as you bring Char home.

    susan and amelia ruzycki

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  6. Jim, Katie and Marie so sorry to hear of your loss. While it’s been quite a few years since we last saw each other when our families met at the skating rink in Olympic Plaza, I have thought of you often. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family. Charlene is gone much too soon.

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  7. Anna-Lisa Kinch (nee da Silva) :

    Truly sorry for your loss. May The Lord bless you and keep you in his loving arms as you go through this time. I knew Charlene from high school, she was always kind and generous.
    Sincerely, Kinch Family

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  8. Sandra O'Flaherty :

    Jim, Katie and Marie,
    My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you during this sad time. I have nothing but fond memories of Charlene and the three of you during our time together at Cardinal Newman. Your family touched my life in so many ways. Jim, you and Charlene were role models to me when it came to parenting. Both of you were amazing advocates for your daughters. The pride in both of your eyes when you talked about the girls accomplishments was always apparent each of the times our paths crossed.

    I still remember the first time I met the two of you. There was an undeniable partnership when it came to what you both wanted for Katie….and knew what she was capable of. You both believed in her and because of that, she accomplished so much. I am proud to have had the opportunity to work with all of you and experience the love that you had for each other.

    Commitment, pride, determination and kindness are all words I would use to describe Charlene…she was an amazing person.
    Take care of one another….send hugs to you all!
    Sandra

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  9. Phyllis & John Roberts :

    Jim, Katie, Marie & family,

    We too are very saddened that your mom, wife, daughter & friend has left us so soon. Fourteen years ago we met your family at the playground in McKenzie lake and our families had an instant connection. We had both moved from the other side of the country and we were comforted in the fact that there were kind people in our community and many who were experiencing similar changes and that people like you were very open to new friendships.

    Charlene was a beautiful person, she always had that smile that could light up a room, a smile that made others feel so welcome. Her love of her family was so evident, she often spoke so kindly of her dear family in Ontario, especially her Mom. She was so proud of Jim, Katie and Marie, she was always spoke so positive about how her two daughters had matured into two beautiful young women and that the best was still ahead for them. As a friends, Jim and Charlene were always very kind to our family whether that was encouraging our own kids in sports or making that extra special hand made gift on one of our birthdays.

    She was very brave in her recent battle and her determination to beat this ugly disease was admirable. To see how her beautiful family took great steps to care for her would have brought great pride and comfort to her.

    Charlene you will be missed so much by all but her spirit will live on. We will take your kind spirit and pay it forward to others. We will continue to be there for Jim, Katie and Marie and will often think of you and share a funny and loving story involving you. Rest in peace.

    With love Laura, Erin, Mark, Phyllis and John.

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  10. Please accept my heartfelt condolences. My prayers are with you and your family during these times.
    May your many memories of your times together be of comfort to you now and always.
    Regards,
    Nicola

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  11. To the Donohue Family – I’m so sorry for your loss. Charlene was a great TELUS colleague — very bright, capable and forward-thinking. I truly enjoyed working with her.

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  12. So sorry to hear of your loss. Please accept my deepest condolences. My thoughts are with you and your family in these difficult times.

    Regards,

    Andre.

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  13. It was a pleasure to work with Charlene at TELUS, she was a well respected leader here. Often spoke so highly of her family, her pets and shared her knowledge of bird watching. My condolences to all of you at this very sad time.

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  14. Sarah Koutsopodiotis :

    I worked with Charlene at TELUS – She was so smart and so passionate, kind and caring. I have never met you all but my thoughts are with you in this difficult time and i hope you know what a mark that Charlene left on all of those around her and how lucky I feel just to have met her.

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  15. My deepest condolences to Jeanette, Jim, Katie, Marie. I am so
    deeply saddened by the news of Charlene’s passing and my thoughts and prayers are with the entire family.

    Charlene will be so sadly missed by her TELUS family.

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  16. Jim
    My heart is heavy at the depth of your loss. I am deeply saddened and can only hope that you and the girls find the strength you need to get through this time. It is the strength of your character that will shoulder this burden. Thinking of you .

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  17. I worked with Charlene in Nortel. I met her for a brief while in Toronto, where I had been for a training program. Even in that brief meeting, Charlene was warm, friendly and I felt as though I had known her forever. May her soul rest in peace. Wish you all strength to get through the coming days.

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  18. Carol MacDonald :

    Jim, Katie, Marie and family:

    Terribly sorry to hear about Charlene. Our thoughts are with you and your family.

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  19. Jim, Katie, Marie and Family, we are deeply saddened with the loss of Charlene. Charlene was a wonderful colleague in the Employee Learning & Development organization at Nortel. Our team was also a family and memories of Charlene’s talent and sensitivity are carried globally by her EL&D family. I remember, literally with a smile now, the careful conversation Charlene initiated with me (have lost track of the year) when Jim’s work potentially would move the family to Calgary. Charlene wanted to explore the “possibility” of some continued relationship with our team…I know she was really relieved to hear my response…she was a perfect candidate to work from home…dedicated, considerate, responsible…aside from the fact that Charlene really was a key strategic business thinker, who not only developed critical training experiences for her business clients, she often led their thinking in changing the business as well…saw it time and again. You will recall that Charlene imposed on herself Eastern Time working hours to ensure that she was in synch. with her clients and colleagues…we were flexible, but Charlene insisted to ensure that her availability was never an issue. Charlene and I shared the same “Human Dynamic” (Physical-Mental)…thrilled by nature and sometimes drawn to the severest weather and physical challenges….sure you will relate. There is so much that we collectively admired about Charlene and I have touched on only a few aspects. Charlene’s legacy as a talented, intelligent, thoughtful individual is obviously her immediate family and your successes. Although a very private person in my experience, Charlene would sometimes share your successes with her “other family”.
    We loved Charlene and know that her spirit and essence lives on with all of us.
    …thinking of you and Charlene,
    Sincerely, Ray Patterson

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  20. I would like to send my deepest condolences and sympathies to the entire family and Telus colleagues. I didn’t have the privilege of working with her, she was an amazing human being. Stay strong and may she rest in peace.

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  21. My deepest condolences. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.

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  22. Caroline Labrosse :

    I have no words to express my most sincere condolences at the passing of Charlene.

    She was my support person at TELUS. She was caring and helpful at work. She took great pride in getting involved and making an impact on employee performance. Above all, she was a great person: a great listener and a kind spirit.

    As stated already, Charlene loved her family! Of her husband, she said: “he is my best friend“. Of her daughters, she said: “I would not change a single strand of their hair“.

    May you be comforted by the wonderful memories of this terrific woman … gone too soon.

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  23. Jim: You and your family are in our prayers, and have our sincere sympathy.

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  24. My deepest condolences for your loss. I knew Charlene from high school and she was always very outgoing and kind to all her friends. I will keep all of you in my prayers.

    Regards,
    Clarke

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  25. All my heartfelt thoughts go out to Charlene’s family. Charlene was a valuable colleague when we both worked at Nortel, and I enjoyed the collaborations we had and the time we spent together.

    I will always remember her genuine love of life, sense of humour, and the integrity and inspiration she put into everything she did.

    She has left us too soon.

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  26. I was honoured to work with Charlene at Nortel. Although our chances to meet were rare as I live in the UK she was always a great pleasure to work with, the consummate professional and a delightful approach to everyone she met. Please accept my deepest condolences for her untimely loss.

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  27. Lisa and Paul Nishihata :

    Jim, Katie & Marie,
    We were saddened to hear about the passing of Charlene. Charlene had a very kind and gentle soul, we hope the memories that you have of your wife and mom will forever warm your hearts. She had a wonderful effect on people and thoses impressions are what made her an amazing and classy woman.

    Our deepest sympathies are with you all of you.

    Lisa and Paul Nishihata

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  28. My sincere condolences for your loss. I had the honor of working with Charlene for many years in Employee Learning at Nortel. It did not take long for her to become so much more than a colleague – she was a true friend. Her intelligence made me want to work with her, but her passion, enthusiasm, thoughtfulness and spirit made me want to be her friend. After she moved to Calgary I spent a lot of time – probably every week – trying to convince her to move to Ottawa with Jim, Katie and Marie.

    Jim, Katie & Marie – I fondly remember a beautiful day spent with all of you horseback riding in Banff, then back to your home. I will cherish that day for a long time.

    Every year, a group of Charlene’s Learning Colleagues from (former) Nortel Ottawa get together – which is coming up in a few weeks. This year we will take that opportunity to celebrate Charlene’s life and share special memories.

    Please accept my sincere condolences,

    Alana Palmer

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  29. Gus Yaki & Aileen Pelzer :

    Hi Jim, Katie & Marie:

    So sorry to learn of your loss.

    All our best.

    Gus & Aileen.

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  30. Mervin & Donna Yamniuk :

    Charlene and I worked together at the Calgary Board of Education. She was a bright light in our department and she had a calming disposition that filtered to us all. I thoroughly enjoyed working with her and we had many great conversations about work, family, shopping and vacations. I will truly miss her and offer you my most sincere caring for your loss.

    Donna Yamniuk

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  31. My condolence on the loss of Charlene.
    I have fond memories of taking your family out on my East Didsbury bluebird trail about 4 or 5 years ago. It was a prize for Katie identifying the most birds in a contest the year previously as a junior bird watcher. I remember Charlene took lots of pictures and I could tell she was a devoted mother.

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  32. Very sad to hear the tragic passing away of Charlene.
    My thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time in your life.
    My God give you the strength and courage to bear this great loss!

    Shirin Kassam

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  33. Alastair Sloan :

    It was with great sadness that I heard of the passing of Charlene. I would like to offer my deepest condolences to her husband and daughters.

    I knew Charlene back in our university days. we attended Biz school together. She was a wonderful ray of light. She would always have a smile on her face no matter what the situation. I and many others were blessed to have been her friend. I have many fond memories of our times together.

    My thoughts are with you at this time,

    Alastair, Beverley, Mitchell , Cameron and Ella

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  34. Laurel (Wright) Ancheta :

    My sincerest condolences to Jim, Katie and Marie as well as Charlene’s mother and sisters and their extended families. I am so sad to think that my wonderful friend from university is no longer with us. She was such a bright light in the world – always positive, energetic, supportive and fun. She will be greatly missed by us all.

    Laurel

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  35. My heartfelt condolences to Charlene’s immediate and extended family. I went to high school with her, and her kindness and brilliant approach to everything in life was evident even then. Although she left you far to soon, I hope that in time, instead of mourning her loss, you will be able to celebrate all that she gave and all that you had.

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  36. Janice (Auckland) Fisher :

    It was with great shock and sadness that I learned of Charlene’s passing. I met Charlene when we entered ‘Biz School’ and she was such a dedicated and hard working student, always striving to do her utmost. She even managed to get her uncle to let our policy group do a case analysis of his company – that just showed her determination. We shared the uniqueness of being the youngest in a family of five daughters and deciding whether to follow or make our own paths in the world. There was also much fun to be had in our university days and it is evident she has touched so many more lives in the years since. I am so glad we had a chance to catch up at Homecoming a few years ago and I offer my sincerest sympathies to all of you. Cherish the memories that you have and celebrate all that Charlene meant to you.

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  37. Deanna & Jim Hamilton :

    Jim, Katie, Marie & Extended Family,

    It is with great sadness and very heavy hearts that we are sending you our condolences on the loss of such an amazing person, wonderful wife, magnificent mother, and fantastic friend.

    Living parallel lives in Ontario, then moving out to Calgary about the same time, we were destined to meet on Marie & Kristen’s first day of Grade 1. What we didn’t know back then was how lucky we were as a family to have Charlene’s friendship and love ever since.

    You captured her perfectly in everything written above. Ginny you knew right from the day Charlene was born that she was going to spread joy everywhere she went, she sure lived up to her name.

    Charlene was a beautiful person both inside and out. She was always thinking of others and she would do everything she could to help out and make things better. Her creativity, style and flare, showed in everything she did. Especially in her exciting and elaborate Birthday Parties for Marie and Katie. She was a very strong woman with a never give up attitude, and always looking for the positive.

    We have shared many good laughs over the years and some tears. You will be missed by all of us. Thank you for being such an amazing friend and for sprinkling your magic our way. Until we meet again, you will remain in a special place in our hearts.

    Our two families grew up together in Calgary and we will always be here for you. Our love and prayers are with you all.

    Sincerely, Deanna, Jim, Kristen, Joel & Amanda

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  38. My deepest sympathies to Jim, Katie, and Marie, and Charlene’s family. Through our years at Nortel, I had the privilege to work closely with Charlene and grew to know her as a true friend and just a truly extraordinary person–so creative, caring, and committed to her work, her friends and her family. When I partnered with Charlene on projects, they became this wonderful, innovative adventure, where Charlene would let her visionary and creative talent fly–to stir up the conventional approach and make an impact. We had so much fun working together…even through some of the darker times at Nortel, when layoffs were constantly looming, we made a pact that we’d keep “being creative and have a good time doing it”. We made each other laugh. May her bright and loving spirit continue to comfort you all.

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  39. Jim, Katie & Marie,

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you. May all the wonderful memories you hold give you some comfort.

    Brenna, Alex, Anna & Allan Mowbray

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  40. Jim, Katie & Marie,

    “Although it’s difficult today to see beyond the sorrow, May looking back in memory help comfort you tomorrow.”

    I worked with Charlene at TELUS and she truly was an amazing leader and friend.

    Cathy Bengert

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  41. Jim, Katie & Marie.

    We are so very saddened to hear of Charlene’s passing. Jazmin has been good friends with Marie since Grade 2. We spent many, many happy moments with Charlene as the kids were growing up and I remember how happy, fun loving and caring Charlene was. Charlene was one of those special people who showed genuine concern and care for all those who were lucky enough to be in her world. Charlene always had a big smile and was vibrant, full of energy and such joy to be around. Our hearts break especially for Jim, Katie and Marie at her too short life. We offer our deepest condolences to all of Charlene’s family in this very difficult time. We hold you all in our thoughts and prayers. Charlene was a wonderful lady.

    Michele, Ashton, Jazmin & Torin

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