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Gertrude McDonald

My cousin Gertrude McDonald passed away this afternoon. I got an email from her daughter with the news. It gave me pause.

I come from a long line of McDonalds even if the strain was diluted by the time it got to me. Still there is family pride and connection. And Gertrude was a strong part of that, regardless of the fact she “married in.”

Gertrude married Addison, the son of Henry, who was the son of Patrick.. For all practical purposes, Patrick and his wife Johanna were the roots of this branch of a more extended family tree.

The earlier generations of McDonalds lived in upstate New York where, it’s said, they settled because the area reminded them of their homeland: Ireland. If you’ve been to both places, you know exactly what I mean.

I never lived in Lewis County myself, but I visited many times.  And whenever I did, Gertrude and Addison’s home became mine. As it was for my own mother, who returned annually up to the time she died in 1996. The two story house in Lowville, NY, wasn’t fancy, but the front door never met a stranger.

Sometimes we came for family reunions, other times for funerals. In between, Gertrude and her daughters kept in touch. I won’t return for Gertrude’s farewell, but I am so glad I went back this past summer and saw her. It had been several years, but she remembered me.

I’ll always remember her too.

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