Mrs. Donna Colley

Obituary of Mrs. Donna May Colley

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March 6, 1944 – March 28, 2024


With great sadness we announce the passing of Donna May Colley on March 28, 2024 after a courageous battle with ALS. Donna was a loving mother to Greg (Elizabeth), Chris, and Matt (Lindsay); cherished grandmother to Brendan, Ryan, Caitlin, Lucas, Nathan and Noah; sister to Marilyn Britton; sister-in-law to Graham Colley (Liz), and aunt to Barrie Sharp (Cathy), Vicki Payne, Carrie Sharp, Michael Moore (Emily), Stephanie Carter (Matt), Suzie Moore, Jonathan Colley, and Katie Colley. Donna will be sadly missed by many other extended family members and friends, and especially by her son Chris.  Donna was predeceased by her brother Gordon Sharp (Janet), sister Nancy Moore (David), and loving husband of 56 years, Ken, who passed away in November 2023.


Donna, born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, was gifted with a beautiful voice and passion for music making. After graduating from Oakwood Collegiate High School, Donna studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music and then attended Teacher’s College, combining her love for both music and children’s education.  Donna sang professionally with the Festival Singers and joined the Elmer Iseler Singers in its inaugural season in 1979, travelling and performing with them around the world for more than 20 years.  In 2004 Donna was honoured as a lifetime member of the Elmer Iseler Singers.  During her performance years, Donna worked part time as an itinerant elementary music teacher with the Scarborough Board of Education. Upon retiring from the Elmer Iseler Singers, she returned to full time teaching at William Treadway Public School in Scarborough, where she worked until her official retirement in 2009.  Once retired, she continued to supply teach for the Toronto District School Board until 2023.  Teaching music was one of Donna’s passions, and many will remember her bag of books, crayons and treats in the trunk of her car.


Donna was a proud member of the Salvation Army and was actively involved in both the Earlscourt and Yorkminster Citadel Corps. Donna led the Earlscourt and Yorkminster Singing Companies (children’s choir) for a combined 30 years, and also led the Yorkminster Songsters (adult choir) for over 25 years.  During this time, these groups recorded multiple albums, performed live in concerts and on TV, and also toured throughout North America, sharing their musical excellence and love for Jesus.  Donna also blessed many with solo performances at weddings and special events.  Outside of music, Donna was also very invovled in the children’s ministries.  Her six grandchildren have many years of memories with Grandma at church; teaching them in Sunday School and singing with them in Singing Company.  She leaves behind an incredible legacy of over 70 years of dedication to God and the Salvation Army.


Special thanks are extended to the ALS clinic at Sunnybrook hospital for their expert care and guidance, Dr. Andrew Patterson (Stouffville Palliative Care), and Dr. Arif Dharamshi.


A Celebration of Donna’s life is planned for 11:00am on Saturday, April 13, 2024 at the Salvation Army Yorkminster Corps, 1 Lord Seaton Road, Toronto. Interment in Elgin Mills Cemetery will follow at the conclusion of the Saturday service.   A visitation will be held the day prior, on Friday April 12, 2024 from 5:30pm-8:00pm at Ogden Funeral Home, 4164 Sheppard Ave E, Scarborough.


Donna’s Celebration of Life will also be livestreamed, for those who are unable to attend in person. You can watch the service at Yorkminster Citadel’s YouTube or Facebook page. 


In lieu of flowers, a donation in Donna’s honour to the Salvation Army Yorkminster Citadel Family Services would be appreciated. If you would like to send flowers, please send them to Yorkminster Citadel (address above).