Elizabeth Elley MacDonald died recently at the age of 91 in Sedona Arizona. She is survived by her husband, Robert MacDonald of Lake Montezuma AZ, her three children, David Newton of Longmont CO, Ralph Newton of Rimrock AZ and Lisa Newton of Wayland MA, her sister Carolyn Long of Burlington VT, her step-daughters, Brooke Drew and Jennifer Richards, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Elizabeth was born in 1921 in Philadelphia, PA and her childhood was spent in Wilmington, DE where her father, Harold Elley was a chemist at Dupont. She achieved a B.A. degree at Wellesley College in 1943 and an Ed.D. degree in Counseling Psychology at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1970. From 1968 to 1983, she practiced psychology and family therapy at the Peabody School in Newton, MA, Associated Family Counselors in Wenham, MA and in private practice in Beverly MA. She was co-founder and director of Southwest Expedition Institute in Flagstaff AZ, providing environmental education for elementary and secondary school students from 1985 to 2010. The topic of her Doctoral Dissertation was The Family Interview: A Technique for Assessing Patterns of Communication in Families with Learning Problem Children. The technique became a model for School Counselors across the Nation who were looking for a way to improve teacher-parent-student communication and to improve student learning. Her special professional interests were to pursue the social programs put forth by Lizbeth and Daniel Schorr for breaking the cycle of disadvantage and strengthening families and neighborhoods. The last 25 years of her life were dedicated to these goals. Elizabeth loved music and played the piano and viola. She also enjoyed the out-of-doors, engaging in hiking, boating and photography. During her childhood, she spent summers at beautiful Heron Island, Maine where her parents, Harold and Sarah Elley had a home. After her move West, the mountains of Colorado and Arizona became very important to her. She is remembered by all as a warm and caring person with great enthusiasm for life. A memorial service will be held near Ward Colorado in June 2013. Memorial contributions can be made to Natural Resources Defense Council, 40 West 20th Street, NY, NY 10011.
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Published in The Beverly Citizen from Mar. 19 to Mar. 26, 2013