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Joseph McDonnal

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Joseph Edward McDONNAL Joe McDonnal was born in Pueblo, Colorado, to Flora and William McDonnal on July 10, 1931. The family moved to Pendleton, Oregon, in Joe's childhood and then settled permanently in Corvallis, Oregon. After high school, Joe attended Whitman College in Walla Walla, then joined the U.S. Army and served in the Korean War. Joe finished his studies at the University of Washington, where he received a Bachelors of Arts in General Sciences. Joe worked with Jim Crissey of Crissey Flowers during that time and pursued his decorating talents at the hand of a master. When Joe graduated university in 1958, he departed for New York, where he continued to work in the floral decorating business under the prominent house of Judith Garden. Joe then went on to open his own flower shop in Manhattan. When his day's decorating work was finished, Joe found his way into the catering kitchen of the Plaza Hotel, and began his professional career as a cook, chef and caterer. After nine years in New York, Joe took a vacation to Spain intended for six weeks, and stayed for nine years. Joe settled in Marbella on the Costa del Sol, and opened a restaurant called El Oasis, followed by another called El Platanal. After nine years, the drought in Spain got him down, and he longed for a good old Northwest rainstorm. Joe returned to Seattle and was attracted to the Pike Place Market which was under renovation at that time. He leased a space in the Corner Market Building, designed it exquisitely, and opened Market Place Caterers in 1976, a restaurant, private dining room and catering business. Joe's reputation grew quickly, with word of mouth always being his best advertising. In 1989 Joe began pursuing his final dream of establishing a private dining club with catering facilities, which he accomplished in The Ruins with its opening in 1993. After founding this sizable venture Joe continued to work tirelessly in the business, designing and executing his catering work until his health demanded his departure from the stove in August, 1998. Joe continued to work in an administrative capacity until his full retirement a few years ago as his health declined further. Joe succumbed to pneumonia on January 31, 2011, in Palm Springs, California. Joe is survived by a large and loving family: Virginia Wyman, his spouse of 32 years; sister Maribel Cadmus of Salem, Oregon; brother Bill McDonnal and his wife Marianne of Los Altos, California; brother Fred McDonnal and his wife Marie of McMinnville, Oregon; ten nieces and nephews, one deceased; twenty-one great-nieces and - nephews; five great-great-nieces and nephews; and numerous cousins. Viewing at Bonney-Watson, 1732 Broadway, on Wednesday, February 9,from noon until 5:00. Funeral Service for Joe will be held at St. James Cathedral on Thursday, February 10, at 2:30 p.m., with a reception following at The Ruins. Cremation and burial at Calvary Cemetery in the week following. Remembrances may be made in Joe's memory to Seattle Opera, PO Box 9248, Seattle 98109; or Pacific Northwest Ballet, 301 Mercer St, Seattle 98109. If you wish to sign the guest online guest book, go to www.legacy.com.
Published in The Seattle Times from Feb. 3 to Feb. 9, 2011
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