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Irene MacDonald

Irene Thorp MacDonald, 93, of Maitland, Florida died peacefully at the home of her daughter on Feb. 20, 2013. Irene was born June 2, 1919, in Dorchester, the daughter of Elizabeth Ann and John William Thorp and grew up in East Weymouth. After graduating from Weymouth High School, class of 1937, she attended the New England School of Law (Portia Law School). She graduated in 1941 with high honors and an L.L.B. degree and was a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association. She joined the Red Cross in 1943, volunteered for foreign service and was sent to the South Pacific in 1944 as a recreational worker for service clubs/canteens in New Caledonia, the Russell Islands and Guadalcanal. She chronicled her experiences in a series of Life in the South Pacific columns for the Patriot Quincy Ledger. In 1945, she married Elmer George MacDonald, a Master Sergeant in the Army Air Corps and Bronze Star recipient, who had worked for her father at Thorp Motor Company in Weymouth. They settled in Norwell, opened MacDonald Motor Services and built The Glen, a park for mobile homes. In 1962, she relocated to Old Lyme, Connecticut and worked for the State of Connecticut. Later she obtained her real estate brokers license and ran her own business, Lyme Realty Company. She was a literacy volunteer and prepared taxes for the elderly. Irene was known throughout her life for her generosity to others, her buoyant spirit, her ready laugh, her curiosity and her readiness to try something new. She was an avid reader, an oil painter, a writer, a poet, and loved to dance. She was preceded in death by her brother Arthur Thorp, her husband Elmer and second husband Leland Reynolds. She is survived by her children: James Marc MacDonald and wife Jean of Alameda, CA, Marsha MacDonald of Maitland, FL, John MacDonald and wife Karen of Amherst, NH, and Matthew MacDonald and wife Sandra of Cape Coral, FL, seven beloved grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be held in Maitland, FL. Burial in Duck River Cemetery and a Celebration of Life will be held in Old Lyme at a later date. Memorial donations may be made to Lymes Senior Center, PO Box 597, Old Lyme, CT 06371.


Published in The Patriot Ledger on Feb. 25, 2013
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