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Eldee Virginia Burton McDonald
12/21/1921 — 11/06/2020
From Richland, WA | Born in Chouteau, OK
Eldee Virginia Burton McDonald
Eldee Virginia Burton McDonald, third out of seven children, was born to Earl and Retha Burton on December 21, 1921 in Chouteau, Oklahoma. She graduated from Pryor High School and attended Oklahoma A&M (OSU) for one year. While working as a telephone operator at Oklahoma Ordinance, she met her future husband, Ronald McDonald. They married in 1943 and moved to Hanford, WA, where they both had jobs on the Manhattan project. Eldee continuing her work as a telephone operator.
Eldee worked until she had her first child, Ron, in 1945, becoming a full time mother. In 1947 her second child, Karen, was born. As a mother, she was active in school, church and scout activities.
In the 1960’s she began working at the Montgomery Ward Catalog store in Richland becoming the manager in 1971 and retiring in 1985. After her retirement, she was involved in an adult ESL program where she taught several years. Many of her students became lifelong friends. She was entertained in their homes, as well as them in hers. She had a great sense of adventure and took many trips with her daughter’s family. In 2005, she got her first passport and traveled with them to Taiwan to visit a granddaughter. Everyone she met was so impressed that she had made the trip and she continued to correspond with a monk and family she met there.
In 2007, she sold her “F” house and had a rambler built on Sedgwick. She enjoyed the building process and picking all of the items for her new home. She lived there until she quit driving and then moved to Brookdale in Richland, joining many of her friends. The activities were many and she could get to them with a quick walk down the hall. Her Sedgwick house was available for family to stay in when coming to visit her at Brookdale. She called it her “hotel.”
Eldee was a longtime member of Richland Baptist Church where she raised her family, taught Sunday School, Vacation Bible School and was involved in various children’s programs. She sang in the choir and later graduated to the senior choir with many wonderful friends. She was lovingly teased about having “her chair” at choir practice that she always sat in – no one dare sit there. She was a bit of a “spit fire.” Her comment often was it is okay to be stubborn as long as you were kind.
She was adored as a Mother, Granny and GeeGee by her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She was an amazing cook and there are countless memories of times spent together in the kitchen. Her specialty was cinnamon rolls. She spent many hours rolling out dough with her grandchildren and great grandchildren – flour everywhere!
On November 4, 2020 she suffered a heart attack and a stroke and never regained consciousness. She passed away peacefully with her family by her side at the Hospice House in Kennewick on November 6, 2020.
Eldee was preceded in death by five of her seven siblings, husband Ronald and son, Ron. She is survived by her sister Phyllis Drake of Pryor, OK; daughter Karen Jones of Renton, WA; granddaughters Courtney Cameron of Daegu, S. Korea; Whitney Archer of Corvallis, OR and Brittney Jones, Seattle, WA. Her great grandchildren Lydia Rose, Ayelet Eldee (her namesake) and Quincy James Cameron all of Daegu S. Korea, Dalton Miles and Holden Graham Archer of Corvallis, OR. She is also survived by her special TriCities daughter, Cathy Metz and her children Jennifer Carrigan and Tyler VanZandt. Many cousins, nieces and nephews also survive her.
A family graveside service was held on Tuesday November 10th at Sunset Gardens in Richland. Memorials can be made to Richland Baptist Church, 1632 George Washington Way, Richland, WA 99354 or Chaplaincy Hospice Care’s Hospice House, 2108 W. Entiat, Kennewick, WA 99336
I cannot remember a time in my life when I didn’t know of Mrs. McDonald. She was just such a solid rock of faith at our church. She will always be an inspiration to me. Such a wonderful lady!!
To Karen and family,
My deepest condolences and prayers are with you. Eldee was such a wonderful and kind Goldly woman. I will miss seeing her smiling face in church, but know we’ll see her again some day.
Eldee was such a great lady who was a special friend to my Mom. After my Dad died, Eldee kind of “helped” my Mom through that process. Whenever I couldn’t find Mom at home, I’d call Eldee’s and find they were both over at the F house eating popcorn and watching movies. When Mom was in her last days in the hospital, Eldee would come every day to visit — even if Mom didn’t always know she was there. What a true friend. I will miss her dearly — as I know your family will, too.
Our sincere condolences to your family on Eldee’s passing. Your dedication to her plus her spunk and well-lived life has provided you all with countless warm, loving memories. Treasure them always. She left a wonderful legacy.
Teresa (Tina) Southard-Kobuki- it saddens me to hear this lovely lady has passed. She was my first boss I worked for at Montgomery Ward catalog and automotive. I worked with her for 2 years. Ronald used to come in at lunchtime, bringing candy and small talk. I loved Ronald, now Eldee will be able to join Ronald in heaven. What a lovely couple they were very loving. Eldee was a strong influence on me with her management style she took me under her wing and nurtured my skills. Rest in peace my dear friend you will be missed love you always Tina. Renton, WA.
Teresa (Tina) Southard-Kobuki- it saddens me to hear this lovely lady has passed. She was my first boss I worked for at Montgomery Ward catalog and automotive. I worked with her for 2 years. Ronald used to come in at lunchtime, bringing candy and small talk. I loved Ronald, now Eldee will be able to join Ronald in heaven. What a lovely couple they were very loving. Eldee was a strong influence on me with her management style she took me under her wing and nurtured my skills. Rest in peace my dear friend you will be missed love you always Tina.
To The Jones Family: My greatest and deepest sympathy to all of you. I, too, have been a recipient of those marvelous cinnamon rolls of hers. They were every bit as sweet as she was. A spirited lady that won over my heart and always made me say, “I want to be like her when I grow up.” Betty Ross
I know she will be greatly missed.
What a beautiful life – thank you for sharing.
Eldee was a big part of my family’s extended network. I loved her deeply and have such sweet memories of her..She is one of the last of my mother’s ‘birthday club’ friends. She always dressed to the nines and had the most perfect hair until that one day in water aerobics (haha). Such precious memories..Such a sweet soul. Prayers for you and your family Karen.
Very sorry to hear Eldee has left us. I worked with her back in the Montgomery Ward catalog store days and she was always a very vibrant, and friendly person. Never saw her without a smile on her face. She was an excellent worker and we were good friends. After retirement, several of us that had worked together would have lunch on a regular basis so we could catch up on what was going on in our worlds and we shared lots of laughs and conversations.
Sure miss those days. Time goes by so fast. It is hard to believe those days were 60 years ago!
As the song goes…….”those were the days my friend, we though they’d never end……..”
Eldee will be missed but , memories of her will never end!
Thinking of you all today.
Karen and Family so sorry to read about the passing of your Mom……there goes the rest of the people from the Dead End…..test assured she is with her loved ones that have gone before her and she is whole in body and mind once again……prayers to you at this time….. Elaine Tesky Hawkins