Cover photo for Dorothy McDonald's Obituary
Dorothy McDonald Profile Photo
1925 Dorothy 2011

Dorothy McDonald

September 22, 1925 — June 12, 2011

McDONALD, Dorothy Clemm, long time resident of Palmdale, the youngest child of Edward S. and Nora E. Tunison passed away on June 12, 2011 in Fort Collins, Colorado after an extended battle with lymphoma.  Born September 22, 1925 she grew up on the family farm just outside of Wheaton, Pottawatomie County Kansas.  She attended Wheaton High School where she graduated in 1943.  While in high school she was on the girls’ basketball team.  She later moved to Manhattan, Kansas and took training as a stenographer at Sacred Heart Academy which she completed in 1945.  Always an adventuresome individual in 1946 she took a job as a nanny and ended up in Grand Lake Colorado where she later worked at the Rapids Lodge during the summer.  At the end of the summer she caught a ride to California with friends and started working as a secretary for an insurance company in Santa Ana.  A friend introduced her to Leslie B. McDonald and the two were married November 14, 1947 despite a dubious start when on one of their first dates he took her grunion hunting on the beach of California – and no grunion showed - making her think that perhaps this was like a snipe hunt.  Their first son, Hugh Gregory, was born in 1951 and their second son Scott Edward in 1954, daughter Denise Lee joined the family in 1967.  The family moved to Price, Utah in 1954 and then returned to California in 1959 when they came to Palmdale where she lived until 2004 when she moved to Colorado in order to spend more time with her family.  Dorothy was active in the Palmdale community including the Palmdale United Methodist Church, in Cub Scouts as a Den Mother, the Palmdale Gem and Mineral Club including serving as president among other positions and actively displayed every year at the Lilac Festival.  She and her husband Les were also involved in the American Field Service hosting many international students including Guido Garavoglia and Hendrick Plate.  In recognition for her many services to the community she was presented with the Lulu award.  Always a strong supporter of education she went back to school and completed her Associate in Arts at Antelope Valley College in 1986.  She continued her education, taking classes during the summer at Northern Kentucky University working towards a B.A. degree.  Dorothy returned to the work force as a teacher’s aide for schools in the Palmdale School District, later for the Los Angeles County School District and eventually for the Lancaster School District as a Para Educator Special Education Severe Vision working with visually impaired students.  Dorothy will be remembered as a caring person who was always ready to help or assist someone in need.   She and Les always made their home open to their children’s friends and no one was ever a stranger.  Her older brother, Sherman Tunison, came to live with her in Palmdale and later in Fort Collins and she was involved in his care until his death in 2007.  Dorothy was preceded in death by her husband, Leslie B. McDonald in 1980 and is survived by her children; sons Greg McDonald and his wife Diane and Scott McDonald and daughter Denise Van Horn and her children Jennifer McCulloch and Matthew Decker and husband Sam Van Horn as well as many loving nephews, nieces, great nephews and great nieces.
A visitation will be held from 3pm to 7pm Monday June 20, 2011 at Chapel of the Valley Mortuary, 1755 East Avenue R, Palmdale with a funeral service at 11am at the Palmdale United Methodist Church, 39055 10th Street West, Palmdale with a short graveside service to follow.  Following the graveside service a reception will be held at the Palmdale United Methodist Church.  In lieu of flowers, donations in Dorothy’s name may be made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Pathways Hospice of Northern Colorado, 305 Carpenter Road, Fort Collins, CO 80525or the Palmdale Gem and Mineral Society Scholarship fund.  Chapel of the Valley Mortuary, Palmdale Directors.
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Service Schedule

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Monday, June 20, 2011

3:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

Chapel of the Valley Mortuary

97 Vernon Street, Roseville, CA 95678

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