Dolores Agatha (née Walters) McDonald died peacefully at the Elrose Health Centre on April 2, 2020. Born at home on NE¼-34-27-16-W3rd near Gunworth, SK and a long-time resident of Wiseton, SK.
She was predeceased by her parents, sister Francis, husband Hugh, daughter Mary Louise, son Donald (Rita – Chilliwack) and grandson Gordon Varty. She is survived by son John (Claire - Calgary), daughters Merle (Basil - Wiseton) and Wendy (Dennis - Regina), sister Winnifred (Bill – Rosetown), eighteen grandchildren, fifty great grandchildren, and six great-great grandchildren.
Dolores was the daughter of Gunworth pioneers, Ralph and Louise (née Pickett) Walters, and received her elementary/high school education in the one room schools of Sunnybank and Gunworth. On July 2, 1936 she married Hugh McDonald, her former teacher, originally from Wiseton. For the first four years of married life, they lived in Humboldt, SK where Hugh was a teacher. Donald, John (Jack) and Merle were born in Humboldt. In 1940, they opened a store in Milden, SK and in 1942 they purchased the DJ Lindsay store in Wiseton, SK. The Wiseton years saw the death at birth of Mary Louise, and the birth of Wendy. The years from marriage to Hugh’s death in 1980 were totally devoted to their marriage, business, leisure and family. Together with Hugh, their marital partnership pervaded every aspect of their business and private lives. McDonald’s Shoprite was a full-time activity. It served the community as a general store from 1942 to 1983, employing a succession of local persons. In addition to the family business, there were full-time ‘traditional’ wife and mother roles.
Dolores was an accomplished musician, playing tenor saxophone in the McDonald family dance band, and the Elrose Legion Band. She was continuously active in the Wiseton community through the 1942 to 2012 years, and a faithful member of the Dinsmore, Forgan and Elrose Roman Catholic communities as the missions/parishes evolved through the years. She was a woman of deep, practical faith; a constantly private, prayerful person, who within her pervasive faith would quietly declare, “Nothing is more important then family!” With the death of Hugh, her role evolved into the beloved “Grandma Hughie” of the next forty years; the family matriarch and a marvel of faith, independence, and healthy living. The main street of Wiseton will ever echo with the sound of her (often running) feet in their short journey from home to store. In later years, her commitment to walking throughout the village sustained her healthy lifestyle. She lived her retirement years as a model of unconditional, non-judgmental love, personal faith, and always wishing the best and looking for goodness in every person. She maintained a deep, abiding pride, interest and concern for each member of her family as it grew and extended through the years. How does one conclude a life of 102 plus years? A fitting summary may be found in the words (Leon Dubinsky), “We look to our sons and daughters to explain our lives. As if a child could tell us why, that, as sure as the sea, as sure as the wind in the trees, we rise again in the faces of our children. We rise again in the voices of our song. We rise again in the wind upon the prairies, and then . . . we rise again.”
A private family Rite of Committal was held at the Forgan Cemetery. Donations in memory of Dolores may be made to the Wiseton Memorial Hall, P.O. Box 2, Wiseton, SK, S0L 3M0, please make cheques payable to the Village of Wiseton with notation for the Memorial Hall.
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