Donna Arrington

June 10, 1943May 13, 2013

Charlotte - Donna Cullen Arrington, age 69, passed away peacefully in her home surrounded by family and friends on Monday, May 13, 2013. She was born in Evansville, Indiana to the late Charles Edward Cullen and Sarah Omer Cullen. She was a member of Myers Park Baptist Church.

Donna was a person who believed in living an authentic life. She believed in family, fostering good friends with similar values and in living the truth. Passions included her love of yard sales and that one spectacular find, the love of flowers and English Gardens, her home, and all of those special haunts around her home. Her commitment to service was deep as exemplified by her work in the Peace Corps, at the United Way, and as the Senior Director of the Regional HIV/AIDS Consortium. Her strengths were collaboration and facilitation. She could always help others think outside the box to find middle ground. Her empathy, compassion and intellect were manifested in relationship building. Donna always believed in taking the “high road.”

Her greatest gift of all was her spirit…a spirit way too big for this world. Donna embraced outdoor adventures with hiking, kayaking, backpacking and walking. She loved those “shorts and sweatshirt” kind of days. She loved her dog Murphy Brown devotedly and worried about her more than herself. Donna especially loved to walk Murphy at sunrise, Donna’s favorite time of day.

Probably the greatest accomplishment in her life was her daughter, Sarah, followed closely by her two granddaughters, Madison and Abby Cate. They affectionately called her Nanmommie. Nanmommie was determined to establish traditions with the girls by introducing them to new things, such as summer camps at The Cornwell Center, Santa’s Bag, Easter Bunny pictures at Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens, and plays at ImaginOn.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her sister-in-law, Sue Cullen.

Donna is survived by her daughter, Sarah Arrington Holman and her husband Randall; granddaughters, Madison and Abby Cate; partner in life, Cathy Morelli; sister, Bettye Hutchison and her husband Rodney; brother, John Cullen; nieces, Christie Cullen Barany and husband Jason, Lauren Cullen Cooley and husband Paul; nephews, Tim Hutchison, and Todd Hutchison and wife Stephanie; and let’s not forget her dog, Murphy Brown.

A memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at Myers Park Baptist Church. Inurnment in the church columbarium will take place immediately after the service, followed by a reception in Heaton Hall.

Memorial contributions may be made to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Charlotte, 4530 Park Rd. #240, Charlotte, NC 28209 or to Myers Park Baptist Church.


  • Memorial Service Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Donna Arrington

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Linda Reynolds

May 21, 2013

Donna and I spent time together working at United Way here in Charlotte. She was a valued colleague. I've had a chance to visit with her and the girls on some of their outings to Children's Theatre for Santa's Bag and our productions. I'm so glad the girls will have those fond memories to treasure. Keeping you in my prayers.

May 19, 2013

I knew Donna by an association I had with her as a student at UNC-Charlotte. We graduated in the same class. Donna hosted a joyful celebration of our graduation at her home. Donna's smile was contagious. I know she will be missed. Anne Rhodes

Mary Bennefield

May 15, 2013

Miss Donna was a wonderful person with a great personality and ability to share her positive attitude with others! I was blessed to be part of PCSB in Daytona Beach, that received TA from AIDS United! You will be sadly missed Miss Donna! Much love! May you live with the angels!

R Butler

May 15, 2013

Your family has so many fond memories of Donna, may those memories soon begin to replace the sadness in your hearts. As you continue to cope in the coming days please look to God for comfort. (2 Thess 2:16, 17)

Linda Hansen

May 15, 2013

I worked with Donna in the Planning and Allocations office at United Way and was inspired by her. She researched HIV/AIDS, then went on to found the HIV/AIDS Consortium. She really cared about helping others. Charlotte and all the surrounding counties of the Consortium will miss her. Blessings to her family.

Jill Allen-Hennessey

May 14, 2013

My love, thoughts, good memories are with you Sarah. Your mother was a wonderful person with a great heart.

Mary Dickson

May 14, 2013

My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Donna was a wonderful neighbor and I always enjoyed our talks on the sidewalk with Murphy. My condolences to Donna's family, friends, loved ones and to Murphy. I will miss her.

May 14, 2013

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
David& Judy Woodward

Hortense Hunter

May 14, 2013

I had many phone encounters with Donna, but I only met her face to face once. She was warm, vibrant, funny -- just a delight to be around. My condolences to her family and friends.

Terry Ellington

May 14, 2013

Donna was a fantastic mentor to me while I worked under her inspiring leadership at the Regional HIV/AIDS Consortium. Her dedication to helping others was truly inspirational.I send my my prayers and condolences to her family.