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CATHERINE "KATE" (MCDONALD) BEATTIE - DANVILLE - Catherine "Kate" (McDonald) Beattie passed away peacefully at her McDonald Farm home on Sept. 24, 2014. She died in the room she was born in 93 years ago, surrounded by her large extended family and friends. Catherine, the oldest daughter of Plynn and May Wilson McDonald was born in Danville on April 5, 1921. She attended Danville schools and was a 1938 graduate of Danville High School. Kate devoted her life to the operation of the McDonald Farm, established by her family in 1839 - one of the few remaining Vermont Century Farms still in family operation. Kate was known for her hospitality. Carrying on the Vermont farm tradition, her home was open to everyone in the community and even those just passing by. No one could leave her kitchen without being given something to eat. Her own large family was often extended by the many youth she welcomed into her home over the years. Catherine was active in Vermont Democratic politics serving in the Vermont House of Representatives in the 1964-65 session. She was appointed to the Bicentennial Commission where she brought her love of her Vermont heritage. During the late 1970s, she served as a Commissioner on the District #7 Environmental Board. She was also active in the Vermont Farm Bureau for many years, receiving the President's Award in 1982. Kate served on the Board of the Eastern States Exposition and held the position of Trustee Emeritus. In 1986, Kate was presented the Vermont Agricultural Experiment Station's "Unsung Hero" award in recognition of her leadership and service to her community and to rural life in Vermont. In 2010, Kate was inaugurated into the Vermont Agriculture Hall of Fame. Kate was an active member of the Danville community. She was a member of the Danville Congregational Church and was Past Matron of the Order of Eastern Star. She and her husband were recognized for their community service by being honored as Danville Citizens of the year. In addition, Kate served as President of the Caledonia County Farm Bureau. Kate was a legendary cook. She and her recipes were featured in Yankee magazine and the subject of numerous newspaper articles. She was especially known for her maple pie. For many area residents, Kate was known best for the bus trips she organized to all parts of the United States and Canada. Survivors include seven daughters, Alice Farr, Martha Jane Kitchel, Mary Beattie, Marion Cairns, Holly Beattie, Marilyn "Gilly" Beattie, and Catherine "Kitty" Toll; two sons, Thomas and Martin; stepdaughter, Elizabeth Bolevic; and stepsons, Robert, William and Donald Beattie. Other survivors include numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and sister, Alice McDonald Hafner. Catherine was predeceased by her husband, Harold William Beattie Sr.; and son, Harold "Occie" Beattie Jr. A celebration of Catherine's life will be held at the Danville Congregational Church, Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014, at 1 p.m. Contributions may be made to the Danville Congregational Church Steeple Restoration Fund, so that the church bell can continue to ring.

Published in The Burlington Free Press on Sept. 26, 2014
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