Ethel Mary MacDonald

Posted on Monday, February 12, 2018 11:41 AM

Ethel Mary MacDonald
March 23, 1930 – February 7, 2018

In loving memory of Ethel Mary MacDonald who passed away February 7th, 2018 at Princess Court long term care home in Dryden, Ontario.

Ethel was born at home in Keewatin Ontario, (we would be remiss if we did not clarify that Keewatin is not Kenora as this was a point she would tell anyone who would listen) on March 23rd, 1930 to David and Marguerite McKie. She was the oldest of five siblings and spoke fondly of her childhood with her close-knit family.

Ethel would continue her post-secondary education in Fort William where she graduated from the nursing assistant program. She was very proud of her nursing career and would talk about the importance of pressing her apron and wearing her nursing cap with pride. While nursing in Nipigon she would meet her husband, Thomas.

Ethel married Tom MacDonald on October 19th, 1951. Married for 67 years they were a wonderful example of true love over time and in practice. Even in Ethel’s last years, Tom would go to her room every evening to say good night and give her an ice cream treat. Tom and Ethel raised five children, Janie, Jim, Sharron, Billy and Danny. Over the years they would live in many communities in Northwestern Ontario eventually settling in Dryden.

The greatest joys in Ethel’s life were her grandchildren. She once said her one regret was not getting her driver’s licence so that she would be able to visit them more often. She ensured that she passed on the importance of a close-knit family by being actively involved in her grandchildren’s lives. There was never an event too small for Grandma and she was a cheerleader and trusty photographer at many activities including skating, ringette, hockey, Christmas concerts, plays and graduations. Her grandchildren knew she would be in the crowd and poised to capture every moment. Going to Grandma’s will be remembered for making morning Eggos, baking the best blueberry muffins and a pantry stocked with a healthy supply of dill pickles. Grandma’s sweet tooth meant that there was always a cake or hidden candy ready to be served with a good cup of tea. Her grandchildren will fondly remember summer afternoons at Mary Jane’s pool, watching them swim. She was proud of her grandchildren’s accomplishments and was known to exaggerate their achievements and positive traits.

Ethel loved genealogy and spent many years tracing her family back to Ireland and Scotland. She loved history and was always looking to find memories of the past and to reveal her family’s history. An avid knitter and crocheter, Ethel was always busy with a new project that often included making matching sweaters for her grandchildren, quilts for new arrivals or mittens for anyone who would put in a request. She was active in the Catholic Women’s League and the Dryden Legion and believed in giving back to her community. She will be remembered for her good sense of humor, her avid reading and her appreciation for a good sleep-in. Her family will think of her fondly in the taste of rum and coke and peanut-butter squares.

Ethel leaves behind her husband of 67 years Tom MacDonald. Her children, Janie (Billy) Inget, Jim (Cindy) MacDonald, Sharron (David) Struk, Daniel MacDonald. Her grandchildren, Jill (Joel) Inget, Brian (Amanda) Inget, Matthew (Jeremy) Struk, Marcey (Pawel) Stefanski, Michael (Shannon) Struk, Melissa (Dave) Gerrard, Lara MacDonald and Cole MacDonald. Great-grandchildren Ben, Isla, Max, Everly, Heidi, Magnus and Ainsley. Ethel will also be remembered by her sisters Mary Jane Fleming and Annie Rae Valenta and brother Dave McKie along with numerous nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her son, Billy MacDonald and her sister, Joan.

The MacDonald family would like to thank Princess Court for the excellent care that Mom/Grandma received in her final years.

A memorial funeral service will be held Sunday, February 18th 2018 at 1:30 pm in Princess Court Chapel with Father Alan Campeau officiating. Interment of ashes will be held in the Dryden Cemetery at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Ethel’s memory may be made to the Dryden Regional Health Centre - CT Scan Renewal Fund through Stevens Funeral Homes, P.O. Box 412, Dryden ON, P8N 2Z1. Condolences may be posted at