Serving West Michigan Since 1899

Barbara McDonald

April 20, 1943 - April 14, 2024
Saugatuck, MI


Life Story / Obituary


Barbara Ann McDonald, born April 20, 1943; died April 14, 2024.

"Don't look now", said the young lecturer from Western Michigan University, "but when you get a chance, have a look at the doorway behind you."

Totally ignoring his advice, I turned immediately and caught my first glimpse of the woman who, six months later, would become my wife.

"Now that," said my friend, "is class ! " He could not have been more unerring in his assessment, for, framed by the doorway, was a woman who was not only beautiful, but who exuded everything the word 'class' denotes.

In defining 'class' the Oxford English Dictionary uses such words and phrases as: quality; impressive stylishness or behavior; showing stylish excellence- words and phrases so essentially applicative to Barb, one might think the authors had used her for their model.

Renowned for her sartorial elegance, this doyenne of fashion carried her eye for color and composition into the world of interior design, where she excelled, while at the same time studying and mastering the art of gourmet cooking. And yet it was not her prowess in the fields of fashion, design and cooking that she would most wish to be remembered, but for her extraordinary skills in the education of children with special needs. She pursued her career in that field, in the city of Wayne-Westland where she was loved unconditionally by "her kids", as she called them, and held in awe by their parents.

Notwithstanding such a cornucopia of skills and talents, Barb always regarded her daughter, Heather, as the jewel of her life's crown. She raised her alone until the age of three, and throughout Heather's formative years instilled in her the values, morals and ethics that defined Barb herself.

Throughout her retirement years, Barb took upon herself the daily responsibility of feeding hundreds of birds and ensuring that "our" deer had easy access to the treasures of our garden, in which she loved to pass her hours.

Barb is survived by her husband, Mac, her daughter, Heather, her son in law Jim, her grandsons, Spencer and Parker and the family dog, Oakley who brought Barb such joy in her last days.

Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Holland 270 Hoover Blvd. Holland, MI 49423