Landscapes 13

Donalda Paula Mae (Rose) MacDonald

October 1, 1926 ~ September 8, 2021 (age 94)



Donalda Paula Mae (Rose) MacDonald

 October 1 1926 September 8 2021

Our beautiful Mother, Donalda (Donna) left the world gently Wednesday evening. She was dearly loved by her family: Valerie (Paul), Lorna (Rob), Scott (Emma), David (Katie) Patsy (Pete). 

Donalda was the 3rd of 4 daughters born to a WW1 veteran and owner of the general store, Albert Rose, in the remote fishing  village of Flowers Cove Newfoundland. Education for girls was not a high priority at that time, and certainly not in rural Nl, but mom managed to get herself 60 miles up the coast (by dogsled or boat) to Saint Anthony where she supported herself  through high school working in the hospital laundry. She was bright and ambitious, and ultimately travelled by boat to Saint John's where she graduated with an RN diploma from Saint John’s General School of Nursing, no small feat for a girl from the outposts in the 1940s.
Donalda worked in Corner Brook and then in St Catherines, Ontario where she met and married Lawrence MacDonald. Together they moved to Sydney Cape Breton to raise their family. Mom worked part time at the City Hospital in critical care and did night shift as a private duty RN. She also helped renovate and manage their rental properties.  Her summers were spent in a rustic cottage on East Bay where she enjoyed her summer community, grew a garden, picked berries, and fed her kids and their friends.  She learned to swim and drive a car there at age 47. 

Mom retired from nursing in 1974 and she and Lawrence bought, refurbished and operated the Garden Court Cabins in Sydney Forks. She thrived as an entrepreneur, working hard and interacting with guests. Mom and Dad enjoyed many winters in their Coral Springs condo visiting her sister Flo (Jim)  and Lawrence’s sisters Marguerite (Richard) Mary (Aubrey) and Kay (Jim) and their families.

By 1994, all 5 kids had migrated to BC so Donalda and Lawrence sold the cabins and moved to North Vancouver, then to Maple Ridge. Following Lawrence’s death in 2008, Donalda moved to Gibsons B.C. to be closer to her children.

Our Mom had an independent spirit living in her own home in Gibsons until age 93. She joined in the Christiansen Village social and art scene and was warmly embraced by Bruce Devereau and Makiko.  ‘I feel like a queen every time I’m there’. Mom was warm, funny and charismatic and loved being at the centre of attention and she often was. She made friends easily and was loved and cared about by many in her Shaw Rd neighbourhood. We will never forget the kindness the Gibsons community showed our Mom. A very special thanks to Kay, Judy, Karen, Donna and Peter for their kindness and friendship.  

Mom suffered a stroke in March of 2020 and was transferred to Shorncliffe Village Care Home.  She felt  beloved by the wonderful staff on the first floor and on the Gardenview unit.  Our family is forever grateful for their excellent care and to  Dr. Corrie Belgraver who went above and beyond treating our Mom as she would her own. 

Donalda’s grandchildren/step grandchildren are: Morgan (Mike) and Warren (Katie) Gregory; Adi, Geoff (Vickie) and Ainsley (Russell) Gornall; Brett (Tabbi), Mark , and Eric MacDonald, Brian (Karie), Shannon (Ryan) MacDonald, Chris McElwaine and Emily (Matt) and Jessica (Clayton) Doyle  She also had 10 great grandchildren. Nora, Lennon, Hazel, Eleanor, Finley, Ellie. Anna, Jack, Violet, and Sutton Mom had many nieces and nephews and some of them felt that Aunt Don was a second mother to them.

Donalda is pre-deceased by her husband Lawrence, sisters Virtue and Susie and her Great grand daughter Lennon. 


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