Ramona Ellington McDonald, beloved wife of Thomas C. McDonald for nearly 69 years, died of cancer on Nov. 4. She was 92.
A native of Griffin, Georgia, Mrs. McDonald and her husband have lived in Vancouver, Washington for the past 22 years. They were residents of Touchmark at Fairway Village when she died. In addition to her husband, Mrs. McDonald is survived by three children: R. Robin McDonald; David T. McDonald and his life partner Karin DeDona; and Bruce C. McDonald and his wife, Mary Cahill McDonald; three grandsons; and a great-granddaughter, all of Washington.
A celebration of Mrs. McDonald’s life will be held Sat. Dec. 10 at 2 p.m. at the Fredonia Church, 1024 Fredonia Church Road in Barnesville.
Mrs. McDonald was born Sept. 17, 1930, the only child of Acie Grady Ellington and Lena Richardson Ellington. Raised in Griffin and Sandersville during the Great Depression, she attended Griffin High School and then Tift College in Forsyth where she majored in history and minored in voice. She graduated from Tift in 1952 and began teaching elementary school in Lithonia. She met her husband in 1953 while singing in the church choir with his father. They married on April 4, 1954.
During their 68 years and seven months of marriage, the couple lived in ten states across the country. Mrs. McDonald became a full-time homemaker and active community volunteer. She also had an exquisite, lyric soprano voice and accepted multiple invitations to sing at churches where she and her husband were members.
In 1989, when the couple were building their dream home in Raleigh, N.C., Mrs. McDonald took over as construction manager on the unfinished project after the builder declared bankruptcy. Her successful completion of the Raleigh home led her family to designate her as the Steel Magnolia Construction Co. – a reflection of Mrs. McDonald’s grace, her beauty, and her strength, as well as her Southern roots.
In 2012, Mrs. McDonald and her husband established the Ramona E. and Thomas C. McDonald Center for America’s Founding Principles and the Ramona E. and Thomas C. McDonald Center for Advancement of Global Education at Mercer University in Macon. Tift College became part of Mercer in 1986 and the couple wished to honor the nation they have always loved and the state in which they were born and raised.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that gifts may be made to the Ramona E. and Thomas C. McDonald Center for Advancement of Global Education or the Ramona E. and Thomas C. McDonald Center for America’s Founding Principles at Mercer University, 1501 Mercer University Drive, Macon, GA 31207.