Robert James Donaldson, Jr.

  • Born: March 20, 1932
  • Died: March 7, 2020
  • Location: Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

J. Henry Stuhr Mount Pleasant Chapel

1494 Mathis Ferry Road
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

Tel. (843) 881-9293

Tribute & Message From The Family

Robert James Donaldson Jr., 87, of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, husband of Suzanne Hyer Donaldson entered into eternal rest Saturday, March 7, 2020. His Funeral Service will be held Wednesday, March 11, 2020 at St. Andrews Church Mount Pleasant at 2:00 pm. Burial will follow at Christ Church Cemetery with a reception following at his childhood home, 205 Queen Street, Mt. Pleasant. The family will receive friends Tuesday from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm in J. Henry Stuhr Inc., Mount Pleasant Chapel, 1494 Mathis Ferry Road, Mount Pleasant.

Born March 20,1932, in Charleston, South Carolina, Robert was the son of the late Robert J. Donaldson and the late Catherine Coleman Donaldson.

As a child growing up in the Old Village of Mt. Pleasant, he would row to Morris Island and Sullivan's Island to look for fossils and Civil War relics. Summers were spent building scow style sailboats on the street and porch with his father and uncles and sailing in Mt. Pleasant regattas.

He caught a lot of fish in the harbor and creeks around Mt. Pleasant; and he gave away a lot of oranges from his grove in Hobcaw.

He was a proud graduate of Clemson A&M College in 1954 where he lived in the greenhouse and participated in the ROTC. After graduation he served his country in the US Army, stationed in Germany. He continued to serve in the Army Reserve for twenty years, rising to the rank of Lt Colonel at retirement.

Bobby and Suzanne, his wife of 65 years, started Abide A While Nursery in 1957 when they returned from Army active duty. His love of plants began when he was nine years old tending a garden with his mother. He had a passion for helping people see the beauty of flowers and enjoyed sharing his love of landscaping with the community. He was a past president of the SC Nurseryman's Association. Abide A While continues as a family run business owned by his son Bruce.

Bobby loved the mountains of western North Carolina and the family camped and played there for 50 years until they sold their cabin in 2015.

He was a lifelong member of St Andrews Church and believer in the saving grace and love of Jesus Christ. He served the church over his lifetime in every capacity: serving as Junior Warden, Senior Warden, head of Christian Education, leading a Men's Bible Study for many years, singing in the choir and later in the Praise Team; and leading small groups in the Alpha program. He was available whenever God needed him. He was active in Faith Alive and Faith at Work; attended Cursillo 8 in the Diocese of South Carolina and went on to be the rector of Cursillo 22; he attended many diocesan Mens' Conferences, Couples' Conferences and Promise Keepers conventions.

Survived by his wife Suzanne; two sisters, Mary Ann Donaldson Hay (Henry) and Sandy Donaldson Knisley (John); three children, Robert James Donaldson III (Margaret), Bruce Lucas Donaldson (Muffie) and Andrew Homes Donaldson (Torre); and grandchildren Robert, Thomas (Maddy) and Jenks Donaldson, Eleanor Moynahan (Colin) and Emma Donaldson, Sarah and Andrew Donaldson, Megan and Madison Bennett.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St Andrews Church 440 Whilden Street, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464.


Condolence & Memory Journal

Bobby and Bruce:

You and your families are in Allie's and my prayers. I have great fondness if your father and Abide-A-While.

Then Men's Bible Study was a special weekly event for my father. I thank your father for giving him that time.

Carl and Allie Mitchell

Posted by Carl Mitchell - Woodbine, MD - Family Friend   March 27, 2020

Mrs. Donaldson, Robby, Bruce, and Andy, I was sad to hear of Mr. Donaldson's passing. Lots of memories from long ago when we were growing up. I remember sitting in the pew at St. Andrew's with Carolyn under your watchful eye during church and the house at the back of the nursery. I'm glad I was able to see you at church the last time I was in town. He had a life well-lived. As someone else said in this memory book, now that he and Ozzie have changed zip codes, the camellias planted around the pearly gates will be looking good pretty soon. Our thoughts are with you all in this time of mourning. David and Val Weise

Posted by David Weise - Hemet, CA - Family Friend   March 15, 2020

God's peace and comfort to y'all! Your dad was a treasure! As is your mom. Such a privilege to get to meet the man and share his love of God and God's Creation! My grandmother used to buy from he (and your mom) MANY years ago. My best friend also worked at Abide-A-While and so I got to see and chat with him there as well as at Cursillo closing services and even the Christian Men's Conference. What a privilege to enjoy a mighty man of God! His example of gentle, kind, love, love, love... is something I strive for. Heaven is richer and I look forward to joining him there one day. Abundant blessings to each of you! YBiC am I.

Posted by Gene Scarborough - Santee, SC - Friend   March 11, 2020

Atty. Robert- Please accept my condolences

Posted by Qui Calhoun - Mt. Pleasant, SC   March 11, 2020

A precious gift of this holy man to family, friends and all he met. He had an aura of peace and love about him and can only imagine the joyous reunion with his God and those who love him in heaven! My dad, his uncle, Robert Coleman is surely grinning.
So very sorry Suzanne and cousins. Can only imagine how much you miss him already. You are all in my heart and prayers.

Posted by Ann Coleman Fosberry - Mt. Pleasant, SC   March 11, 2020

To Bruce and the Donaldson family,
Let God's Love give you strength. All of you will continue to bring your father's joy into this world. I am sorry for your father's passing.

Posted by Annie Buxton Mii - Charleston, SC - Friend   March 10, 2020

Dear Bruce, Andy, and all the Donaldson family,
Please accept my sincere condolences for the loss of Mr. Donaldson, who was always one of the most delightful people on every occasion I saw him. I enjoyed his good humor and always liked to hear him ask someone, with hand over his heart, to "give the pledge" that they would fertilize and water the plants they bought from him. He made visiting Abide-A-While a pleasant experience and a valuable lesson in sharing his knowledge. We will all miss him.

Posted by Michael Trouche - Mount Pleasant, SC   March 10, 2020

I was so very lucky to grow up in Charleston with Mr. Donaldson and his wonderful family. He was always kind to me, and I appreciate how he taught me about business from an early age. He was a very good man; he will be sorely missed.

Posted by Stafford Green - Atlanta, GA   March 10, 2020

When it comes to being a human being who was created in the image of God, a human being who did his nights and days in a manner that never brought any embarrassment to God's divine creativity--they just do not come much better than Bob Donaldson.. If I had the ability to speak 6 different languages, and speak each well, I still would not have enough words to adequately express the respect and admiration and all the joys I experienced with my interactions with Bob.. Because of his transition into the eternal life, heaven is a much more joyous state of existence . Because of his absence, I personally feel somewhat diminished

Posted by JIM DOFFIN    March 10, 2020

My condolences go out to all of the Donaldson family. It has truly been a pleasure taking care of your dad. He and your mom have brought much laughter and enjoyment to my visits. I can't forget about him sharing many interesting facts, about birds and plants that I did not know as well as the stories he would share, when he was younger. He will be missed.

Posted by Marlena Woods - Summerville, SC   March 10, 2020

Suzanne, We were sorry to hear about Bobby and want you to know that we regret we did not get to know him.
You are in our prayers at this difficult and painful time.
With Love, your new neighbors
Bonnie and Russ Seabright
Villa A

Posted by Bonnie Seabright - Mt Pleasant, SC   March 10, 2020

We were very sorry to hear of Bobby's passing. He was always such a kind and friendly man, never jinsaw him without a smile on his face. He will be missed.

Posted by Bernard and Mary Bastian - Mt Pleasant, SC - Friend   March 10, 2020

What a beautiful tribute for a wonderful man. I feel blessed to have met him. May your memories of him keep him alive in your hearts and ease your sadness.

Posted by Connie Quattlebaum (Dobbs) - Manteo, NC - Family Friend   March 09, 2020

Rob Donaldson and family, I was sad to see the passing of your Dad. My thoughts are with you in your time of grief. Angels on your shoulders.

Posted by Pam Dennis-Paxton - Charleston, SC   March 09, 2020

The Garden of Heaven will Flourish! My heart is with you all!

Posted by Mary Anne Holmes - Waynesville, NC - Family Friend   March 09, 2020

Bruce, my thoughts are with you and your family. I am sorry to read of your Dad's passing.

Posted by Terry Richardson - Charleston, SC   March 09, 2020

I had the privilege of visiting Mr. Bobby recently and am so grateful to have had the opportunity. He was a very special man and dear to my heart. You could see his love for the Lord in his face and all of us who got to know him were very blessed. I know he is at peace now. God bless Suzanne and the rest of the family.

Posted by Suzy Cook - Mount Pleasant, SC - Friend   March 09, 2020

Our deepest sympathy to the family --- Boyd has admired Mr. Donadson so much over the years -- they shared the love of plants. Boyd always loved to go to Abide Awhile when Mr. Donaldson was there -- they could talk on and on about plants.

Liz & Boyd Loadholt

Posted by Liz Loadholt - Mt. Pleasant, SC - Friend   March 09, 2020

Abide A While was one of the first accounting clients I worked with after moving to Charleston, long time ago. Suzanne and I became fast friends and Bob followed as a friend quickly. I remember when he came to my home and used a garden hose to outline a flower bed in front of my house. I've visited their home in Hobcaw and remember seeing Bob's handiwork in his own yard.

Posted by Ann Beauchamp - Charleston, SC - Friend   March 08, 2020

Such a wonderful Christian man. I got to know Bob through a Monday AM Bible study that we both attended at the St. Andrews Anglican Church, and soon learned how much he was respected by the other men. His long life was gift from God that blessed all of us who knew him, Bob will be missed by all of us.

Posted by Alan Dillion - Charleston, SC - friend   March 08, 2020

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