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Jay Weston Donaldson


Jay Weston Donaldson, 93, passed away on Thursday, June 6, 2019. Jay had been living with family over the past year-and-a-half, but had recently moved to Northridge Village for assisted care living. His passing was from natural causes and occurred shortly after a nice visit from family members on Thursday. During his brief stay there, Jay found new friendship with someone from his hometown of Milford, Iowa.
Visitation will be from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, June 14, 2019, and services will follow at 6:30 p.m. both occurring at Adams Funeral Home, located at 502 Douglas Ave. in Ames. Burial will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 15, 2019, at the Okoboji Cemetery in Arnolds Park, Iowa.
Jay was born on June 15, 1925, to Evelyn and Lou Donaldson in Milford, Iowa. He graduated from high school in Milford, and joined the U.S. Navy Air Corps during World War II. Jay trained to be a pilot in South Carolina. Fortunately, the war ended while he still was in pilot training and Jay went on to attend college in Boulder, Colo., where he earned a degree in mechanical engineering. After graduating from college, Jay lived in Des Moines, where he met his wife, Lois Wintermantel. They were married in 1951 and settled in Jay's hometown of Milford and started a manufacturing business, Milford Engineering. He invented and manufactured many products during this time including the "Tell-a-Story" slide projector, medical finger splints, a weed whip for yard care and an innovative, three-wheeled golf cart. All five of their children were born during the 14 years they lived in Milford.
In 1965, they moved their family to Ames, Iowa, and lived there for 10 years where he worked for Bourns and then became the plant manager for Hach Chemical. In 1975, Jay and Lois moved to Cedar Rapids where they spent the next 26 years. Jay was employed by Rockwell Collins from 1975 to 1992. While working at Rockwell Collins, Jay received an MBA degree and was awarded several U.S. patents for his engineering designs. In 2001, they returned to Ames to be closer to family and friends.
Jay was an avid golfer with a low handicap. At 66, Jay finished second in the 65-and-older golf event at the inaugural Iowa Games. He also went on to win the 65-and-older triathlon. He shared his passion for golf and exercise with his children. Many were surprised to learn he had achieved seven hole-in-ones during his lifetime. He also was a popular member of the Ames Golf and Country Club where he enjoyed playing with friends several times a week and continued to play into his 90s.
Jay also was a dedicated husband to his wife, Lois. He took loving care during her extended illness, which allowed her to stay at home until her death in 2009. His commitment was inspirational. Jay was a humble man and had a gentle nature and quiet charm. He also had a great sense of humor that would catch you off guard. The kids and grandkids appreciated his wide smile as he told them stories of the past. He found great enjoyment in following his grandkids' participation in sports and would attend all their local events. Jay will be missed by everyone he knew.
Jay is survived by his two daughters, Anne Burgason and her husband, Steve and Mary Clyde and her husband, Todd; three sons, Lee Donaldson and his wife, Carla, Mark Donaldson and his wife, Sue, and Jack Donaldson and his wife, Barbara; nine grandchildren, Casee Burgason-Cruise and her husband, Spencer, Andrew Burgason and his wife, Ashley, Jordan Burgason and his wife, Emma, Bonnie Sue Donaldson, Bethany Anne Donaldson, Mary Grace Donaldson, Ryan Clyde, Rachel Clyde and Elliot Clyde; and six great-grandchildren, Conrad, Max, James, Josie, Ruby and Banks.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Adams Funeral Home, and online condolences may be left for the family at www.adamssoderstrum.com.
Memorial contributions may be made to Wings of Refuge or the Matthew 25 House.
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