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Donna Carlson-Jones

Obituary of Donna Carlson-Jones

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Donna Carlson Jones, age 53, died on Monday, March 4, 2024, at University of Cincinnati Medical Center. She suffered complications from hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), a rare autoimmune disorder. Donna was born on March 24, 1970 in Ithaca, NY to Dr. Paul Carlson. Known for her determination and independence from an early age, Donna participated in swimming and band at Dunkirk High School, where she graduated in 1988. She worked as a lifeguard on Lake Erie beaches in summers. Donna earned bachelor’s degree in Geology from SUNY-Fredonia in 1995, and pursued graduate studies at the University of Rochester, finishing a Master’s degree in geology in 1998. From there, she continued to earn a PhD from the University of Cincinnati in 2004, becoming a specialist in invertebrate paleontology. After working in a postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University, Donna held a research position at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center. She later began a career as a medical writer at Medpace in Cincinnati, eventually moving to Randstad Life Sciences. Donna was a well-known resident of Cincinnati’s Clifton neighborhood, where she lived since 2007. She involved herself in numerous neighborhood organizations and community events, helping to coordinate plant sale fund drives for her sons’ Boy Scout troop as well as CliftonFest for several years. Socially, she founded a weekly knitting group and participated in a monthly book club. She was a faithful member of the Ludlow Wines community. Donna was a determined runner, finishing several half marathons and other races, and an outdoor enthusiast. She enjoyed preparing fine meals to share with family and friends, and her dinner parties were legendary. Over the summer and fall of 2020, next door neighbors introduced Donna to David Knutson at outdoor gatherings. Donna and David quickly formed a close relationship, accelerated by the conditions of the time. Donna convinced David to move to Clifton, where they purchased a home together. The couple married on February 25, 2023, at Ludlow Wines, and afterwards joyously shared their time. Donna is survived by parents, Dr. Paul and Roseann Carlson, son PFC Christian Jones (USMC) and his spouse Danielle Koller, son FN Alexander Jones (USN), sister Lisa (John) Vanstrom, brother Christopher (Laura) Carlson, spouse Dr. David Knutson, and stepdaughters Lydia Knutson and Miriam Knutson, Nephews, Jackson Vanstrom, Godson Justin Vanstrom, Benjamin and Aiden Carlson, Ben Sanborn and Niece Elizabeth Carlson. Also survived by Grandfather, Thomas A. Tedesco of Jamestown, NY. And several Aunts, Uncles and Cousins. Medical study of Donna’s body will advance knowledge of HLH in hope of determining future diagnosis and treatment. She will be laid to rest in Union Cemetery in Stockton, NY. A Mass of Christian Burial Saturday, April 20th at 11 a.m. in Holy Trinity R.C. Church, 1032 Central Ave., Dunkirk. Memorials in Donna's name to: ASH Foundation, P.O. Box 37577, Baltimore, MD 21297-3577 or on line at and should be directed to the ASH Research Awards Fund.
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Mass of Christian Burial

11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Saturday, April 20, 2024
Holy Trinity RCC
1032 Central Ave
Dunkirk, New York, United States
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Donna Carlson-Jones

In Loving Memory

Donna Carlson-Jones

1970 - 2024

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