It is with great sadness that we share that Betty Jo McDonald, age 82, of South Killingly, CT and of Old Saybrook, CT passed away peacefully on Saturday, December 24th, 2022.
A loving and loyal daughter, mother, wife and friend, she was a strong, hardworking woman who always put her family first. She worked at Hales Manufacturing, Ballouville, CT, Steven’s Linens, Dudley, Massachusetts and Davis Place Nursing Home, Danielson, CT. She enjoyed working and owning her own cleaning business. She always enjoyed staying busy and socializing with her colleagues until she retired at 72 years old. Betty took pride in and will always be remembered for her strong work ethic. When asked about it, her famous reply was “you do whatcha gotta do.” If you knew her, you loved her. She was very kindhearted and would go out of her way to help in any way possible. She would give her last dollar to make sure someone didn’t go without, including her family, friends or even a complete stranger. She loved her Munson’s Chocolate, Peanut Butter Cups, Hershey’s Kisses, Pepsi / Coke and her Marlboro Cigarettes. At work, she was the one who always had the Cheese and Crackers enough to share with everyone. When it was time for her break she could be heard saying she was going outside to “have her a drink and a puff.” She loved her many cats throughout her life, fondly remembering Puffy, Missy, Casey and dogs Boxer and Jonesy and her horse growing up. If there was a stray cat she would be the one making sure the cat had plenty of food and treats. She couldn’t bare any person or animal going without food. She always opened her home to family, friends and to complete strangers. She had a kind heart and never saw anyone in a bad light. She was a country girl through and through loving her country music, going to Indian Ranch in the summertime. Her favorite musicians were Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams Jr and watching the Grand Ole Opry. These were some of her greatest pleasures to name a few. She grew up in West Virginia with her family and their horse, then moved to Ohio where she had wonderful memories and loved living on Lake Erie. She then moved to Eastern Connecticut for greater possibilities and opportunities. Christmas was one of her favorite holidays, preparing and planning holiday dinners with lots of desserts. Nothing brought her more joy and happiness than shopping for the holidays and making sure everyone had enough, she never wanted anyone to go without. She was an amazing cook, and was known for her famous Chili Dogs, greasy fried potatoes, Big Country Breakfast on Sunday mornings consisting of the best homemade Biscuits and Gravy and her special recipe Creamed Tomatoes. Betty loved big family Sunday dinners serving her special pot roast, mashed potatoes and gravy. During the summer months Betty loved having cookouts, serving friends and family some of the best deviled eggs, coleslaw and potato salad they’d ever had. Betty Jo was the daughter of the late; Juanita G. St.Clair and William J. St.Clair of West Virginia and Connecticut and Leslie Heldreth of West Virginia.
Born in Morgantown, WVA, on March 16, 1940, she was the youngest of three children. Her eldest brother Junior Heldreth passed away in 1966. She was also predeceased by her husband Marvin and her sons’ Rodger, Ronnie, Ricky and Michael McDonald. She is survived by her brother Thomas Allen Heldreth and sister in-law Betty Lou Heldreth of West Virginia and nephew Ernest Heldreth of New York, her daughter, Terry Lynn McDonald, of Connecticut, son, Steven Allen McDonald, of Connecticut, daughter, Barbara Jean Lasley and husband Brian of Kentucky, daughter, Dianne Lovejoy and husband Blair of Maine, son, James Austin and wife Lisa of Oregon, daughter in-law, Heidi Clifford, Dave Arsenal (who was like a son) Tammy Arsenal (who was like a daughter), longtime neighbor and close friend Flame Provencal, along with grandchildren Dustin, Cassandra, Giovanni and one great grandson Edward along with many other family members and friends. Her beloved companion and fur baby Casey the Cat. She will be sadly missed, but knowing she’s in a better place gives us peace and solace to ease the loss and pain.
Friends and family are welcome to celebrate Betty on Sunday, January 22, 2023 at 10:30am. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass will be offered for the repose of the soul of Betty Jo McDonald at Christ the King Church, 1 McCurdy Rood, Old Lyme, CT 06371 In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: CT Humane Society, Waterford 169 Old Colchester Road Quaker Hill, CT 06375 Memorial Giving Online: https://cthumane.org Celebrate what would have been Betty Jo’s 83rd birthday with a gift to the pets!