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March 19-March 25, 2021
Flushing family mourns loss of matriarch
known for giving back to the community
BY CARLOTTA MOHAMED
A Flushing centenarian who was
known as a “quiet, shy and strong woman”
who loved to read, died at the age of
103 on Sunday, March 7.
The MacDonald family is remembering
their late matriarch, Dorothy (also
known as “Dottie”) MacDonald, who
peacefully passed away in the middle of
the night. MacDonald lived through the
1918 pandemic, two world wars and the
COVID-19 pandemic, according to her
“I have good memories of her — going
on a couple of trips with her and my aunt
to Las Vegas,” Nancy said. “She was very
independent, smart, and she had 20/20
vision until recently, which is almost
MacDonald was be laid to rest on
Friday, March 12, at Flushing Cemetery,
located at 163-6 46th Ave. She is survived
by her three children, five grandchildren
and four great-children, with a new
family member on the way.
MacDonald was born on May 24, 1917.
She was the first-born of three children
to Rudolph and Marguerite Schnurer in
At the age of 16, MacDonald became
the youngest person ever to graduate
from Flushing High School, which Nancy
says is quite a remarkable achievement.
She then worked for her father at his
furniture upholstery company in Manhattan.
Her mother was a dressmaker
and they were both heavily involved in
The late Dorothy MacDonald celebrated her 103rd birthday last May with family.
Photo courtesy of Nancy MacDonald
Queens civics throughout the 1950s.
During World War II, MacDonald
worked as a hostess at one of the United
Service Organizations (USO) clubs, an
American nonprofit charitable corporation
that provides live entertainment,
such as comedians, actors and musicians,
social facilities, and other programs
to members of the U.S. Armed
Forces and their families.
That’s where 25-year-old MacDonald
met her future husband, James MacDonald,
who was a soldier in the war.
The couple tied the knot on July 21,
1944, at Fort Totten Army Base in Bayside
before James left for Germany and
France, according to Nancy. For five
years, MacDonald lived with her parents
until James returned to the states after
the war ended. They were married for
58 years and had three children. James
died at the age of 89 in February 2002.
For over 25 years, MacDonald had
worked as a school secretary at Francis
Lewis High School in Fresh Meadows.
According to Nancy, MacDonald took
a break while raising her two sons, and
then eventually went back to work full
time. When she retired in her early 80s,
MacDonald was focused on her paintings
and artwork — an activity she very
much loved, Nancy said.
“She was a prolific painter and probably
did over 100 paintings. It was mostly
of landscapes and florals, vases of flowers,
birds and fish,” Nancy said. “She
also did some needle work, embroidery,
and she was an avid reader up until the
acDonald was also a member of the
Great Neck Women’s Club Inc., a philanthropic
nonprofit organization that
offered various activities and classes for
women. Aside from painting and reading,
MacDonald spent a lot of time with
her grandchildren, whom she adored.
She would often sit with her granddaughter
and help her work on math problems,
According to Nancy, MacDonald
lived a long, fruitful life that was simple
and she was happy to work and able to
spend time taking care of her grandchildren.
MacDonald celebrated her 103rd
birthday last May with cake and family
members at the dining room table. It’s
one of many memories that Nancy and
her family will cherish of MacDonald.
Vol. 30 No. 12 28 total pages
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