SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - Elmina Helen McGuire, born June 18, 1926, passed away March 3, 2013 from complications of Alzheimer's disease. Ella was the last surviving child of Edward Ensign and Margaret (Gillett) Wickware. Eleven siblings predeceased her: Kenneth, Margaret, Chester, Barbara, Elizabeth, Edward, William, Charles, Joan, Constance, and one infant.
She was raised in the Watervliet and Troy, New York area, having to leave school in her young years to help her mother raise the children after her father's death when the youngest sibling was 7 years old. She always spoke of the fun she had dancing at the USO center during WWII.
She was an enthusiastic bingo player and a lover of flower gardening, especially roses. Nothing made her happier than knowing she was a grandmother: always sending overflowing boxes of treats and toys to grandchildren and greats alike. She enjoyed a good beer, front porch sitting, walking, shopping and a sturdy gossip session. She never lost her sassy street-smart attitude that shored her up when life threw her a hard day. She was enamored of all things hummingbird.
She was predeceased by four adoring husbands: Patrick J. Donlon, Sr., Joseph Salvi, Mac McGuire and Al Fonts. She loved to keep a beautiful home, and cooked amazing meals for all.
She is survived by five children: Sharon Roth (Donlon) of Greenfield, MA, Patrick Donlon, Jr. of Watervliet, NY, Arthur Donlon of St. Louis, MI, Lillian Sprong (Donlon) of Abuqueque, NM, and Mary Rainville (Donlon), and their families; at least 12 grandchildren (SerahRose Roth of Greenfield, MA) and several great-grandchildren (Aviendha Rowland Roth of Greenfield, MA).
Services of remembrance will be held privately in San Bernardino, CA, and Watervliet, NY.
In lieu of flowers, take a moment to tell someone you love them today, or share a joke or two: love life the way she did.
Published in The Recorder on Mar. 6, 2013