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April Client Spotlight

March 31, 2021 in News

We are proud to say we have simply amazing people in our family of Clients. Each month we take time out to shine a spotlight on our clients’ accomplishments, passions, and experience. Please meet Donaline Ann Carter White.

Donaline  was born August 14, 1934 to Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Carter in Nashville, TN. As their only child, she was raised in Nashville, with a brief stint in Santa Cruz, CA, then back to Nashville for her senior year in HS, where she was a cheerleader and played women’s basketball and tennis. While attending the University of Florida in Gainesville she was active in her sorority, Tri-Delta and continued her love of music as an accomplished pianist. At UF she dated the love of her life, Joseph Benton White, Jr. and they married in June 1955 after Joe’s UF graduation. Moving to Leesburg, FL where Joe began his teaching career and Donaline played piano for a local dance studio, they had their first child Victoria Lynn in 1957.  Returning to Gainesville for Joe to get a Master’s Degree and then went on a Fellowship to Ohio State University, where their second child, Thomas Joseph was born in 1959. Donaline stayed home with the kids while being a church organist and pianist, active in volunteer work, church groups, bridge and tennis groups. Finally returning to college to finish her degree in Social Work at FSU in 1966 while Joe worked on his PhD, living in alumni housing with the kids. Donaline began teaching Sociology and English at Lake Brantley HS from 1973 to 1980, and substitute taught before and after this locally.

Donaline and family have lived all around Florida, from Gainesville to Leesburg to Tallahassee to Palatka, to Port St. Lucie and finally Longwood, with different colleges where Joe taught and moved up to Vice President at Seminole Jr. College, and she was hired as a church musician in every town they lived in. She has played the organ and piano in church from the age of 12. She was the organist at Casselberry Community United Methodist Church from 1969-1990 when her beloved Joe passed away of a rare cancer at the young age of 57 years. As a widow, Donaline kept active in her church groups, choir, and bridge groups that she had shared with Joe throughout their 35 years of marriage. Music was a passion for them both as a couple and separately.

Donaline is an exceptional musician and was always in high demand. She enjoyed playing for the Seminole Singers for many years, even touring overseas. She also loved collaborating with musicians at Disney after Epcot opened in the 1970s and also accompanied vocal and band instrument students in competitions at all levels. She has delighted her 8 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren with her music. People were always in awe as she was able to pick out and play a tune after they had just hummed it. Her grands and great grands were easily inspired in the musical realm because of her. Daughter Vicki played duets in church with her as a teenager but did not possess the ability to play by ear which was Donaline’s great gift. She could always get a party started if there was a piano. From the age of seven music has been one of her  greatest joys as well her most awarded and accomplished talent. She made many friends for life through her music. She took piano lessons from the age of 7 from some of the best in Nashville, but her natural ability to produce, hear and play was unmatched.

Though music is her great love and talent, she is most known for her kindness and compassion. Donaline became the confidant of many HS students and others. She is always willing to listen and cares about other’s struggles. She is a helper and would give an ear, a ride, money trying to lift others up. After Joe’s death she would offer some a place to stay, never becoming bitter when some took advantage of her and stole many of the valuables in her home. Her compassion and helping hand for all continued even as she began falling and breaking hips, etc. and had to move out of her home into assisted living.

Donaline is loved and cherished by her family, friends and all she meets, as one of the most caring, giving, funny and pleasant Christian women here on earth. I am grateful to have her as my mom and we enjoy our talks at the SNF when I update her on the happenings in our large family. Now expecting her 14th great grandchild in June, she tries hard to keep track of all of their names and ages from 1 to 16 years. Thankful for her example of loving without judgement. And hoping that we, her family, can carry on her light of compassionate caring in this world that needs it so much!

It has been our pleasure at the Elder Law Center of Kirson & Fuller to assist Claire Schreck with her elder law needs.  As an expression of our appreciation, the firm will donate $100.00 to Meals on Wheels of Orlando. 


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