by: Clarke Donelson Kyra Donelson McFerran

Kyra Donelson McFerran

Kyra Donelson McFerran lived most of her life in the Portland area, and was an enthusiastic quarter-century resident of Sellwood. She was born at Emanuel Hospital on October 5th, 1951, to Norm and Marge Donelson of the Mocks Crest neighborhood in North Portland. The Donelson family moved to West Linn when Kyra was five, where she attended Bolton Grade School and West Linn High School. The family returned to Portland in 1966; Kyra was graduated from Madison High School, Class of 1969. Kyra attended Portland State for several years majoring in Art History. While there, she joined the Pi Beta Phi Sorority.

In January of 1977, at The Old Church in downtown Portland, Kyra married Pat McFerran, a Defense Investigator for the U. S. Army. The McFerrans were stationed in Monterey, California, for several years before being transferred to Germany where their daughter Molly was born in 1981. Shortly after Molly's birth, the McFerrans were transferred back to the States - to Fort Hood, Texas - ultimately returning to Portland in 1985. The couple divorced shortly afterward.

Kyra bought her home in Sellwood near the corner of 15th and Linn in 1987, lived there until the time of her death, on October 23 of this year. Kyra completely enjoyed living in Sellwood, and 'couldn't imagine living anywhere else, ever'. She participated in a favorite Sellwood activity - buying and selling antiques and memorabilia, maintaining display space at several Sellwood antique malls, most recently at The Dusty Tiger. For the last eleven years, Kyra was a Communications Specialist with the Oregon Education Association. She loved her work and her co-workers, and they loved her in return.

Kyra was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma in mid-summer of 2010. She fought the disease with courage and a cheerful spirit, deriving much comfort knowing she likely spared a number of people a fate similar to hers by urging them to be aware of the lethal danger of melanoma - to be alert to changes to the surface of the skin, and to pay regular visits to a dermatologist for a thorough skin examination.

Kyra is survived by her daughter, Molly McFerran, her brother Clarke Donelson, her Brittany spaniel, Ruby, and cats Dexter, Daisy and Jasper. A memorial gathering was held on a Sunday in November at SMILE Station in Sellwood.

Kyra's family and friends would like to thank the Providence Portland Cancer Center for standing beside her in her fight. Gifts in Kyra's memory can be made to: Providence Portland Medical Foundation, Cancer Center for Melanoma Research, 4805 N.E. Glisan Street, Portland 97213.

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