Kenneth Wayne "Corky" Donaldson died Friday, January 8, 2021, in Mesa, Arizona, due to the Covid Pandemic, he was not able to pass peacefully with his family by his side. He was born on March 1, 1941, in Enid, Garfield County, Oklahoma to his parents, Kenneth Robert and Imogene Ruth (Horstman) Donaldson.
As a young boy, Corky moved to Arizona with his family. He graduated from Phoenix's Washington Union High School, Class of '59. Corky enlisted in the United States Air Force in June 1959 and served faithfully for 4 years. He married Coralee Coplan on April 5, 1961, in Alamogordo, New Mexico.
Corky began his law enforcement career in the Air Force by becoming a K-9 Police Officer. He continued his career in Holbrook, Arizona with the Navajo County Sheriff's Department. He was a member of the Hashknife Sheriff's Posse, A certified diver, a SWAT Team Member, and Detective. After 25 years of service he retired from the Navajo County Sheriff's Department in 1991, retiring as Lieutenant. Lt. Donaldson was well-respected by everyone with whom he worked and made countless friends through the years.
Corky and Coralee raised their family in Woodruff, Holbrook, Joseph City and finally settling in Pinetop. With Corky being in "Law Enforcement" and Coralee a "Nurse", our family was raised to respect public service and law enforcement.
Corky loved horses, but Coralee will tell you she was the one who taught him how to ride. In the 70's Corky broke his jaw in a horse riding accident where several of his teeth were imbedded in an oak tree. Charley Lane was almost arrested by the White Mountain Apache Tribe trying to cut out that section where his teeth were. The oak tree and his teeth are now an ash tray which he had made. After his retirement, he built countless memories with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren making sure to be part of our favorite activities. He has helped nearly his whole family in hunting and fishing. The only thing he was never able to accomplish was shooting a Moose. Corky and his son Kenny were members of the White Mountain Bass Club and fished as a team all over the state.
Corky is survived by his wife, Coralee "Mema" Donaldson; children: Robyn (Bo) McNeil, Donna (Kevin) Donaldson, Kenny (Tonya) Donaldson, Dianna Dee (Joey) Baldonado; grandchildren: Danny (Erin) McNeil, Tyler (Sirri) McNeil, Bryanne McNeil, Tucker (Jenni) Johnson, Katie (Heath) Hunt, Hailee Farkas, Savana Warden; great-grandchildren: Dominic Serna, Malaia McNeil, Rya McNeil, Easton McNeil, Macelynn McNeil, Autumn Rae Johnson, Carter Joseph Hunt and 2 more are on the way. Along with his parents, he was predeceased by a brother, Ron Donaldson and great-granddaughter, Zoey McNeil.
The public visitation will be from 9:00 A.M. to 11:00 A.M., Wednesday, January 13, 2021, at Owens Livingston Mortuary - White Mountain Chapel, 320 N. 9th Street in Show Low. The graveside service will immediately follow at 12 Noon at the Lakeside Cemetery in Lakeside, Arizona.
Due to the spike with COVID-19 illnesses and deaths, the CDC recommendations will be enforced. All in attendance are REQUIRED to wear face masks and maintain safe social distancing for everyone's protection.