Donna Faye McAllister

July 21, 1936June 13, 2018

Donna Faye McAllister, age 81, of Chattanooga passed away Wednesday, June 13, 2018 in a local hospital.

She was born July 21, 1936 in Chattanooga to the late Hardy D. & Mary Ruth Johnson.

Mrs. McAllister was a teacher at East Brainerd Elementary for many years. She was affectionately known by her students as “Memaw”. She laid claim to more than 1000 “grandchildren” she had taught throughout the years.

She was preceded in death by her husband, John Samuel McAllister, Sr.; son, John Samuel McAllister, Jr.; brothers, David & Curtis Johnson; and sister, Sylvia Johnson.

Survivors include her children, Matthew Hardy (Babs) McAllister of Soddy Daisy, TN, Karen Deniese (Lin) Guethlein of Charleston, TN, and Mark Anthony McAllister of Woodstock, GA; sister, Judy (Linton) Gilreath of Chattanooga, TN; grandchildren, Wendie (Alex) Miller of Ooltewah, TN, Wes (Kelly) McAllister of Ooltewah, TN, Cassie (Chris) Loizeaux of Chattanooga, Samantha (Alex) Baskette of Nashville, TN, Lindon, James, and Elizabeth Guethlein of Charleston, TN, Alyse (Tyler) McCullen of Cleveland, TN, Josh McAllister and Kristen Borden of Chattanooga; great grandchildren, Lydia Faye Miller of and Mackenzie and Macie McAllister of Ooltewah, TN, Ruthie Loizeaux of Chattanooga, Kaylee and Jackson McCullen of Cleveland, TN; former daughters-in-law, Cherie Ratcliff of Chattanooga and Lisa Jacocks of Ringgold, GA; and several nieces and nephews.

There will be no services or visitation.

She will be laid to rest with her late husband at Chattanooga National Cemetery.

Arrangements are by the East Brainerd Chapel of Chattanooga Funeral Home, Crematory & Florist, 8214 East Brainerd Road, Chattanooga, TN 37421. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Diabetes Association at


Donna Faye McAllister

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Brenda Kaye

June 17, 2018

Donna was so proud of her family and I pray God is comforting you at this time!
My heart is broken again due to Donna's passing! I just can't believe it! She was a WONDERFUL teacher at EBU {East Brainerd University} as it was known by many of the older teachers. The children and the teachers absolutely loved and respected "Memaw" as she was affectionately known to all of them. To me, she wasn't just a colleague, but a very dear friend!! She devoted so much love & time to the history of the school and guided the children in making many, many quilts. Those quilts are on display at the new East Brainerd School to this day. I hope the school will place a memory plaque there to honor an unforgettable lady! She loved teaching as much as the children loved being taught by her. Donna made learning fun! Memories abound of Donna and the many good deeds she performed for those she loved. Donna gave everyone the encouragement, confidence, and love that everyone needs. She was such a blessing to all and I will miss her more than words can say!

Glenda Roy

June 17, 2018

Donna was a treasure. It was in my classroom, when Samantha was in 2nd grade, that Donna began her many years of volunteering at East Brainerd Elementary. She spent all day every Friday that year, with very few exceptions, in my classroom doing whatever I needed. From that year, she blossomed into the friend and helper every teacher wanted - and received. After several years of volunteering, we finally convinced her that she had what was needed to fill in when teachers were absent; so she agreed to substitute, and she was everyone's first choice. I loved her dearly, and Heaven has added an angel.

Jeff Mellencamp

June 15, 2018

Matt, Karen and Mark, Some of my fondest memories when we were teenagers are of you guys and your parents. They always welcomed us and treated us all like family. Matt, I will never forget the look on your parents faces when we brought your Monte Carlo home with part of a tree imbedded in the hood ! As always they handled it with grace and compassion, and somehow turned it into a life lesson for us all. Please know Lori and I are thinking about you guys, Jeff Mellencamp

Denise Trantham

June 14, 2018

Memaw was a fixture for many years at EBE. As a third grade teacher, she spend many hours with my team creating memory quilts for our school. She is also responsible for a detailed history of the school and a time capsule for future students to open. RIP, Memaw. Your contribution touched many!