Donna Ethel Welch

June 5, 2024

CHARLOTTE- Donna Ethel Welch, 75, died on Wednesday June 5, 2024.

The daughter of the late Ernest and Effie Welch, Donna was born on January 5, 1949, in Jacksonville, FL where her WWII veteran father and “Rosie the Riveter” mother had moved during the war. She was the eldest of two children and doted on her younger brother Donnie.

She grew up in Warner Robins, GA, where her mother worked on the military base and her father owned a barber’s shop. A case of mistaken identity in high school resulted in her marriage to Jimmy Humphrey in 1967.  Seven years later, her son Joshua was born, who was the love of her life (at least until her grandsons came along).

After her divorce from Jimmy, and with the support of her parents, she put herself through college at East Carolina University, becoming one of the first women to graduate with a computer science degree in the early 1980’s. She discovered a career in information technology that she loved and was always amazed she could be paid to do it. A lifelong learner, she later attained a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from Duke University.

In 2016, she relocated to Charlotte to be closer to family and devoted her retirement to the role of Gramma, cheering on her grandsons at the baseball fields, on the basketball courts, in theatrical productions and at band concerts. She also regularly took them to plays and musicals, sharing her love for Broadway and theatre in general.

Donna is survived by her son, Josh Humphrey, daughter-in-law and “daughter of her heart” Liana Humphrey, and beloved grandsons Nate and Elias Humphrey.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her brother, Donnie.

A Service of Witness to the Resurrection and in celebration of her life will be held in the Sanctuary of First Presbyterian Church Charlotte at 11:00 AM on Friday, June 14, 2024. A reception will follow in the Welcome Center. Parking is available in the church lot on N. Poplar St. For those unable to attend in person, the service will be livestreamed using the following link:

In lieu of flowers, donations to Blumenthal’s Arts for All Program, which ensures that everyone has access to the arts, no matter their background or income, would be greatly appreciated. Donations can be made online at Arts for All Access (

In My Life – The Beatles

There are places I'll remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever, not for better
Some have gone and some remain

All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life, I've loved them all

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth W. Poe Funeral & Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Ave., Charlotte, NC 28204; (704) 641-7606. Online condolences may be shared at



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  • Julie Zimmerman

    I'm so sorry to hear Donna passed over. I loved her and she was like a local mom to me. We were always tickled about how Nate and my son Michael were born 4 days apart. My heart and prayers go out to you Josh and family. Love you Donna. You were a light in this world.

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  • Robyn & Todd Albaum

    Josh & family, we are so deeply sorry for the loss of your mother.
    We are thinking of you, and your family during this time.

    Robyn & Todd Albaum

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  • Christine Johnson

    I’m so sorry to hear that Donna transitioned. She worked for me briefly as a contractor and was an absolute delight.

    Prayers and condolences to her family and friends.

  • Carol Dorsett

    Donna was one of our loved and wonderful "CrazyLadies" that shared a week of beach time together for around twenty years. I met her when Janie Martin brought her to one of our trips. She came regularly after that, and we also met once a month for dinner when we could work it out. I take credit for luring Donna to BB&T as I was working there as a technology and credit trainer at the time. Once before she joined the bank I was teaching classes in Jacksonville, Florida and Donna was working as a consultant for another company there. We were at the same hotel and didn't know we were both there until seeing one another at dinner! Anytime you saw Donna. things just got brighter. I miss her now and always will. Love and prayers Josh. Donna was the very best of us.❤???❤

  • Jean Davis

    RIP. I was her neighbor at Gaynor Arms and remember the joy she got from those two very special very bright and handsome grandsons. My condolences to her family

  • Ana Ponce

    She was the sweetest grandmother with her grandchildren. She loved her son. I remember one day when she came to pick Nate up at daycare, I saw how Nate was very excited to see his grandmother. I told her, I hope that when I have grandchildren, they love me like your grandson loves you, she told me "I'm sure they will."