July 28th, 1926 - March 18th, 2015
The earthly pilgrimage of June MacDonald came to its peaceful conclusion early last Wednesday morning in the TBRHSC -- and with her passing Thunder Bay lost a most loving, generous, and gracious citizen, a lady who brightened and enriched the lives of all who knew her.
Born in Fort William in 1926 to Viola and Alex Morgan, June is survived by her husband of 45 years, the Rev. Hugh Robert MacDonald, and by her sons, Randall James Morgan and Michael MacGray, his wife, Evelyn, and their daughter, Laurel. Also surviving June are her brother, Robert Morgan, and his children, Tracy Gardner, Margot Mercier, Rick and Chris Morgan and their families. Other cherished family members include Janet and John Hannam and their children, Andrew (Jodie) Hannam, Meghan (Jason) Arpin, and Ian Hannam, all of Thunder Bay, Bruce and Sheila Macdonald in Vancouver and their daughters, Maida and Isabel, and Eleanor MacDonald and her daughter, Grace, of Kingston.
Many will remember June as “Mrs. Mac”, head of the Art Department at Lakeview High School, where she spent much of her life helping generations of students to discover and embrace the arts. She had an irrepressible gift for teaching, and her life was filled with a passion for all the arts: painting sculpture, tapestry, music, ballet, theatre, and literature. As long a health permitted, she balanced that passion with a deep love of the outdoors, cottaging both her and in Florida. She was particularly enthusiastic about skiing, both downhill and cross-country. And she loved travel, often assisting Hugh on his college tours to “Paris and Beyond”.
She was a devout Christian, incredibly generous in her support of a great multitude of worthy causes and in her gifts to needy individuals, but she was so modest that even those closest to her did not realize the extent of her gifts and donations. Throughout her years at Lakeview and long afterwards, she was a most energetic supporter and advocate of UNICEF, her work being so effective that the schools of the Lakehead became known across Canada as leaders in the support of UNICEF. She spearheaded the movement to save and preserve Waverley Park, “spark-plugged” the local “Hand to Hand with Haiti” campaign following the great earthquake, always did all within her power to support and promote Magnus Theatre and the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra. Our city and our world are a better place for her having lived among us.
Finally and supremely, June loved people -- and people were drawn to her spirit and character. Wherever she was, people stopped to talk with her for her friendship made their lives brighter. Even in her final days, when speaking was not always easy, folk dropped by just to be near her and sit with her in quietness and peace.
Friends are welcome to attend a Memorial Service for June at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church (beside City Hall) this Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. In place of flowers, June has asked that family and friends please consider donations to causes that were close to her heart, including the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra, Magnus Theatre, UNICEF, or the Stephen Lewis Foundation Grandmother's Campaign -- or to a special charity of their own choosing.