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Donna Dee Hudson, “Barb” 74, of Clairton, Pennsylvania, was born on September 3, 1949, in McKeesport, PA. She was the beloved daughter of the late Carey and Melissa (Arrington) Washington.
Donna attended school in Clairton all her life and received a certification as a nursing assistant from the Community College of Allegheny County. Growing up in Clairton, Donna and her siblings built a bond that will never be broken, and if you knew the Washington’s you know they were not to be played with. Donna then met the love of her life Charles Hudson and they moved to Detroit Michigan, where they gave birth to their one and only child Carla (Hudson) McClellan. Donna and her new family then moved back to Clairton where they rejoined her hometown family in Blair Heights. Upon her return, Donna became the first black woman to work at US Steel and also an employee of AeroTech and Koppers Inc., where received high honors and recognition for her work ethic and diligence in the workplace and her community as a leader. She continued this profession for 35 years until retirement. However, this is when life started for Donna. She found peace and comfort in knowing that her Daughter Carla and son-in-law Derek McClellan blessed her with three grandchildren; Javier, Tyrik, and Kamiah McClellan. This is also when Donna was faced with the death of her late husband, Charles Robert Hudson, who passed away from liver cancer. Donna turned her pain into passion and began working at Clairton City School District as a crossing guard and later became a security guard and completed her time there as a School Ambassador. To Donna, the ambassadorship was just a title, but the kids and community that she served meant so much more.
During her time at Clairton School, she was known for her wisdom, kind words and stern positivity. She was the first to smile at staff and students every morning and that smile will never be forgotten by her beloved school family. She never considered any of her jobs “work” because she enjoyed what she did and loved the friendships she made over the 19 years she spent there.
For Clairton, Donna was a friend, a mother, a grandmother, an activist, the truth when you didn't want to hear it, and the love you needed day in and day out. This pushed Donna in her passion to work with who she described as her Beloved co-worker and long term friend Brandon who she co-founded Youth Opportunity Development, where she served as the Parent Outreach/Group Leader at Youth Opportunity Development, a program that Donna went to bat for day in and day out giving the kids encouragement, love, perspective, and no-nonsense.
In this program, they encouraged the kids to experience life through a different lens by introducing cultural enrichment, activities, and traveling.
Donna is and always will be a member of First AME Church of Clairton where she gave her life and spirit to the Lord. During her time as a member, she served on the trustee board and recently joined as a missionary. Donna would spend her Sundays at church and having Sunday brunches with her sisters, the Long family, the Calloway family, the McCullough family, the Boozer family and her lifelong family friends whom she cherished and called her family. There were plenty of things Donna Hudson loved in this life but of all, she loved walking in her purpose. Donna lived a full life and loved the relationship she had with her only great-grandchild Javier D. McClellan Jr. Donna did what she loved until her last days and wouldn't let anyone tell her when it was time to sit down because she was going to have a life well and that's exactly what she did.
In addition to her recent clubs and memberships, she served as a Girl Scout troop leader, band booster, and athletic booster. She has received recognition for her various job titles and has been a voice for the community through news outlets. She has been regarded as a pillar of this community and her absence will be felt.
Donna’s favorite form of travel was cruising and planning community trips. This is how she spent time with her family and relaxed when she wasn't taking a break from her various callings.
Donna departed this life on January 2, 2024, at AHN Jefferson Hospital in Jefferson Hills, PA. She was preceded in death by her father, Carey Washington, mother, Melissa Arrington Washington, husband, Charles Robert Hudson, and brother, Eugene (Jean) Arrington.
Donna is survived by her loving; daughter, Carla and her late son-in-law Derek of Clairton, PA; 3 grandchildren; Javier, Tyrik and Kamiah McClellan. 1 great-grandchild; Javier D. McClellan Jr.; two brothers, James (Gwen) Washington, Carey (Rosetta) Washington; three sisters, Bertha and the late (Edward) Dukes, Hilda and the late (Mack) Brantley, Brenda and the late (Wyatt) Woods; nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.