Walter "Walt" E. Donham, 90, of Matthews, NC, died September 22, 2019 at Novant Health Hospital in Matthews, NC. He was born in Hammond, IN to Ralph and Ermina (Cox) Donham on October 9, 1928. He graduated from Clark High School in 1946 and went on to The Ohio State University where he graduated with his PhD in Chemical Engineering. While attending school there, he was a manager for the basketball team, and he met the love of his life, Trudy Tengler. They married in 1953 in Columbus, OH and moved to Baton Rouge, LA, where he worked for 37 years in research and development for Ethyl Corporation, a petrochemical company. Walt and Trudy loved to travel. Walt believed in detailed planning of these vacations, and the rest of the family enjoyed them. Walt and Trudy visited all 50 states, Canada, Mexico, and Europe. Many vacations were taken to visit family around the country, as family was important and cherished. While in Baton Rouge, they were members of Broadmoor Methodist Church. Walt was an avid supporter of his children's activities and encouraged both academics and athletics. He was active in the local Republican party. He was a lifelong fan of Ohio State University athletics. Walt and Trudy retired to Charlotte, NC in 1990, where they built a lovely and supportive community. They were members of Sardis Presbyterian Church in Charlotte and of Senior Scholars. He was predeceased by his parents and his brother, Bob Donham. He is survived by his son, Bill Donham of Baton Rouge, daughter, Jean (Tom) Griesan of Colorado Springs; five granddaughters, Deanna (Michael), Bonnie, Wendy, Valerie, and Lily; and sister, Fran Van Winkle. Also surviving are nieces and nephews: Bruce, Mark, Scott, Sharyl, Laurel, Melody, Cary, Nancy, Tom, and Carol. Walt, ever the cheerful and enthusiastic volunteer, dedicated significant time to the following organizations: Habitat for Humanity, Matthews and Charlotte; the church basketball league for Broadmoor Methodist Church in Baton Rouge; and homeowners associations in multiple neighborhoods, including years of service at Plantation Estates. A celebration of his life will be held at Plantation Estates on October 12 at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Habitat for Humanity of Matthews, P.O. Box 2008, Matthews, NC 28106 or to Plantation Estates Samaritan Fund, 733 Plantation Estates Dr, Matthews, NC 28105. Online condolences may be left for the Donham family at www.heritagecares.com. Heritage Funeral Home - Weddington Chapel is serving the Donham family.
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Published in The Advocate from Oct. 7 to Oct. 12, 2019.