Ann Charlotte McDonald died peacefully on Wednesday, June 8, 2022, at the Village Crest Center for Health and Rehabilitation in New Milford, Connecticut.
She was born in Modesto, California to the late Aino and Donald McDonald, who later moved to Port Chester, New York to raise their young family. Ann and her two younger sisters Ida and Laura (late) attended local schools and in 1966 Ann graduated from Port Chester High School. Always an excellent student, she followed in her mother’s footsteps to become a nurse. Ann attended the prestigious Columbia Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing graduating in 1970 with a Bachelor’s degree. Ann lived and worked on both the East and West coasts, early on at United Hospital in New York, then later at Maclean Hospital in Massachusetts, and San Francisco Hospital in California. She loved the outdoors, marveling at the change of seasons in the East and appreciating the beauty of the California sun and the active lifestyle it had to offer. She was fun-loving and adventurous, an avid swimmer, she once swam across the San Francisco Bay. She enjoyed hiking in the national parks and driving along the 101 to visit the many scenic California towns. She even volunteered as a nurse at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York so she could revisit the exciting cold weather sports. She was an imaginative landscaper, shaping gardens and nurturing plants. Ann had an artist’s mind and heart; she was a talented folk guitarist, vocalist, and poet. She loved to get together with a group of people to play music and sing, either informally as part of a chorus or church choir, or a folk singing club in San Diego. She made many new friends this way, as she did by attending Toastmasters’ meetings or volunteering at the Escondido Center for the Arts. Most important to Ann was her family and her extended family of old friends. Ann especially enjoyed spending time with the late Viv and Scotty Stirling of California, or her late godmother Mae (Scotty) Monson and her husband Allan of Connecticut and their families. Ann, her mother and sisters stayed connected to their Finnish heritage in many ways. In 1994, Ann, her sister Ida and their mother traveled to Finland. While there, they visited their maternal grandfather’s hometown, attended a family reunion and toured the country by Finnrail through Lapland in the north returning to Helsinki in the south. Ann embraced the Finnish culture by learning to bake delicious Finnish coffee bread and pastries from old family recipes. Friends would cherish a birthday package of Finnish pastry from Ann. She had a heart of gold and would put her own interests aside to help someone who needed her. As Ann’s mother developed illness in her later years Ann lived with and cared for her at her mother’s home in Escondido, Ca. Loving to be with family, Ann spent the last few years with her namesake niece and goddaughter, Charlotte Padilla-McDonald, husband Ed McDonald, and their young family in New Milford, CT. Ann loved being an aunt, and will be missed by her nieces, Mariah and Angelina, and nephews, Lucas and Elijah. Although Covid 19 made it difficult to see her sister Ida Raduc, Ann and Ida spoke at length on the phone several times a week. Gratefully, Ida was able to be with Ann during the last few weeks and days of her life. Aunt Ann is fondly remembered by Ida’s daughters, Jessica Raduc of Halifax and Lauren Raduc of Chula Vista, Ca. She is also survived by her cousin James T. Karna, wife Carol and their family in Katy, Tx; cousin Elizabeth Karna and her son, of Birmingham, Al.; her beloved friend Olga Brown-Vanderpool of New York City, and many other close friends near and far.
The family would like to thank the staffs from Regional Hospice of Danbury, Ct. and the Village Crest Center for Ann’s recent care.
A Celebration of Life will be held at St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Church in Brookfield, Ct. on July 30, 2022 at 2 p.m. Donations in Ann’s memory can be made to CUPHSONAA (Columbia Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing Alumni Assoc.) c/o Hillary Wennerstrom, Exec. Director, Barcami Lane Inc., 4 Alan Dr., Suite 310, Westford, Ma. 01886.