Betty McDonald had the admirable ability to always see the best in people.
“She focused her attention on the best qualities in friends, family and acquaintances and tended to brush off cynicism or negativity by pointing out all the good that person had done or a quality she admired,” son Tom McDonald said.
McDonald, 91, of Madison, Wis., and formerly of Crown Point, was married to husband James for 72 years.
Daughter Janet McDonald said her parents met at a Coffeyville, Kan., drugstore soda fountain.
Family members recalled McDonald's passion for her family, the arts, learning, new adventures and Crown Point.
“She’s the glue that kept us all together as adults when we went our separate ways,” son David McDonald said. “She was totally interested in all details of our lives and those of our children and their children and made us feel like she was so very proud of us.”
The McDonalds owned Crown Point’s The Little Gallery.
Her friendship with Crown Point artist and Art Institute alum Mary Geimer was the seed of The Little Gallery, David McDonald said.
“It grew to incorporate several other local artists’ work, antique prints and maps and a framing operation. She found it interesting and fun and it fed her creative instincts for many years,” David McDonald said.
“But I think her real passion was architecture,” Jim McDonald Jr. said.
The McDonalds designed and built two nice homes in Crown Point and a wonderful outdoor space behind their Arizona home, he said.
David McDonald said he will miss his mom’s support and enthusiasm about family.
“No one could be more thrilled to hear from me, or anyone in our family,” he said. “I will miss her open and unconditional love and positive enthusiasm for life and what’s next. And I’ll miss making her laugh. She was a great audience.”