Peacefully at home. Robin Williams made her laugh; Rachmaninov made her cry; and Colin Firth made her feel like a schoolgirl. A 3rd-generation Californian, Jeanne was a child of the Great Depression, and a proud World War II veteran of the home front, working in wartime factories and growing a Victory Garden. She was a professional pianist at 13, becoming a self-taught church organist at 16. Jeanne received a music scholarship to UCLA, but after the early deaths of her parents, she left UCLA and trained as an x-ray and lab tech, beginning her career as a medical professional in 1948. Jeanne married Alex MacDonald in 1951 and had three children. They settled in Santa Rosa in 1962 where she remained for the rest of her life. As "the red-headed organist" at the First Baptist Church and later at the Presbyterian Church of the Roses, Jeanne played for hundreds of weddings, funerals, memorial services, and countless other occasions. She continued as a medical professional in Sebastopol, caring for generations of patients for Drs. Antipa, Hunt, Armstrong, Herzberg, Powers and Davidson. Jeanne was preceded in death by her ex-husband and best friend, Alex MacDonald, son Neil and infant son William Ross. She leaves daughter, Lorna Jeanne (Dr. James) Groundwater, and her precious grandbabies, Andrew Ian Groundwater (Marielle), and Katherine Jeanne MacDonald Groundwater (Adam) - forever bereft of their beloved "Owie." She also leaves a community of friends, neighbors, colleagues, congregations of the Presbyterian Church of the Roses and the First Baptist Church, and special friends Betty Lamb, Al Wiers, Betty Witchey-Ryer and Joyce Wright. Lorna and family are grateful for the wonderful care Jeanne received at Stanford, enabling her to spend her last weeks surrounded by family, friends and flowers. They extend special thanks for the kindness and compassion of her hospice nurse, Rafael, and aides Ganga, Adelia and Mary. Special thanks and much love go to Dan and Jo Markwyn, Jane Braynard-Barr, Jim Barr, and Suzie Walsh for taking care of Jeanne's home and garden during her hospital stay. Jeanne faced death as she faced her often difficult life: with courage, dignity, compassion and humor. She nurtured patients, friends (two- and four-legged!), family and garden, and served God with her music and her beautiful soul. She believed music was God's gift to her. We know she was God's gift to us. Her memorial service will be held at 11:30 a.m., Sunday, October 20, 2013, at the Presbyterian Church of the Roses, 2500 Patio Court, Santa Rosa. Her friends are encouraged to wear hats in her honor. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the
, your local animal shelter or the Presbyterian Church of the Roses.
Published Online in the Press Democrat from Oct. 16 to Oct. 21, 2013