DONNA SUE JOHNSTON CRENSHAW, 82, passed away naturally and peacefully in her home on Friday, November 13th, 2020 in Hot Springs, Arkansas. She is survived by her husband John Crenshaw, her children, John Holt Crenshaw and Leanne Crenshaw Ince, and her six grandchildren.
Donna was born June 29th, 1938, in South Fulton, Tennessee to John William Johnston and Una Alberta Roland Johnston. She grew up in her birth home with her mother tending to the roses while her father built beautiful pieces of furniture still used by the family today.
While attending college at U.T. Martin, Donna met John at her first social dance. Their romance blossomed and they were married in December 1958. Donna gave birth to Holt and Leanne as John finished medical school. After his short stint in the Army, the family settled in Pine Bluff, Arkansas where they lived until retiring in Hot Springs.
Outside of family, Donna had three main passions: art, animals and volunteering. She was a well-known portrait artist and mostly painted children, capturing their innocence and joy. Her work was published in The Art & Artisans of the Ozarks, Volume 1. Donna also loved animals and at least 16 cats and 2 dogs were blessed to live in her graces. Her home was a known drop-off for unwanted pets as she never turned away God’s creatures.
Donna had a long history of helping those in need within her local community. In the Junior League, she was honored with the Ella Hunn Payne award for outstanding sustained volunteer service, organizing various events and teaching art in schools. Donna later brought the Youth Home, a Christian organization that provided shelter to neglected children, to Pine Bluff. Her work included securing corporate sponsors, raising funds, buying homes and organizing volunteers. She served two terms as president and many more on the board.
An active member of First United Methodist Church in Pine Bluff and later in Hot Springs, Donna served on the board of trustees, finance committee and administrative board. She was also a Sunday school teacher and women’s group study leader. In Hot Springs, Donna taught English to immigrants. Donna always tried to live Jesus’ message, not preach it.
Donna also supported the Jefferson County Medical Society Alliance, P.E.O., Pine Bluff Art League and the Arts and Science Center for Southeast Arkansas. Her final project was a renewal of the Beulah Cemetery in Union City, Tennessee. She created an endowment to beautify the grounds and has passed this work on to her children. This is the cemetery where Donna will join the rest of her extended family in eternal peace.
Finally, Donna was a lifelong learner, who had a long history as a successful investor, beating market averages most years. She was that rare Southern Lady, who was just as comfortable preparing a dinner party as she was presenting in the boardroom. Donna had a tender, compassionate heart and the gumption to get things done. She will be greatly missed by her family, friends and those whose lives she touched.
Donna requested that in lieu of flowers, memorials be made to Beulah Cemetery, PO Box 224, Union City, TN 38281.
Cremation arrangements entrusted to https://www.arkansascremation.com/
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