Carolyn A. MacDonald

Carolyn Ann MacDonald, age 87, peacefully passed away at home on Sunday, May 9, 2021 (Mother’s Day) surrounded by her family.  

She was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. A. Bruce MacDonald, her parents, Dr. Charles J. and Nelle Alice Newport Cunningham and her siblings, John N. Cunningham (Betty Jane), Charles E. Cunningham (Dorothy), Paul J. Cunningham (Shirley) and James R. Cunningham (MaryFran).  

She is survived by her children, daughters, Mary Ellen (Jon Tuthill), Maria Elysa (Richard Birnbaum) and Joseph Bruce (Jayne). She was a loving Nana to eight grandchildren, Justin Birnbaum, Ethan Birnbaum, Evangelia Birnbaum, Eliana Birnbaum, Benjamin Tuthill, Trey MacDonald, Chase MacDonald and Alexa MacDonald.  

Carolyn grew up in Villa Grove, Illinois where she excelled in her studies and loved drama, even forming a drama club in her neighborhood as a young girl. This ignited a lifelong passion for the arts including music, theatre and movies. She also helped her father in his osteopathic practice, looking after the books. She spent one year at Illinois Wesleyan and then transferred and received a B.A. at Millikin University where she was a proud member of Alpha Chi Omega. Carolyn began working as an airline stewardess for Delta Airlines. She lived a glamorous life traveling and meeting people like Jimmy Stewart, Bob Hope, Carl Sandburg and Ernest Hemmingway.  

She married Dr. A. Bruce MacDonald at Forty Martyrs Catholic Church in Tuscola on November 28. 1959 and enjoyed 38 years of marriage, living in the Chicago area, East Lansing, MI, Waltham and Amherst, MA, before Bruce’s passing in 1997. 

She taught history, English and special education for many years to children from preschool to high school, beloved by many students. Carolyn became a pro-life leader in the Boston area, organizing many political events, marches, working in pregnancy crisis centers and with Massachusetts Citizens for Life. Fighting for the unborn and exploited women was the cause of her life. She co-founded the Friends of St. Jude’s school in Waltham, MA which created a social network for parents and helped fundraise for the school.  

Dedication to her family was most important to her, she never missed athletic events, plays, graduations, grandchildren’s births and Sacraments. Her limitless energy and vivacious spirit led her family on many adventures to Disney World, FL, Mt. Washington, NH and of course, her hometown in Illinois. She was so devoted to her grandchildren, traveling to all their events and showering them with love and fun. She was bold, courageous, loving, fiercely patriotic and extremely generous. She never knew a stranger and showed kindness to all, especially those in her community. Throughout her life she was always a servant to God, evangelizing the Catholic faith and dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, reciting the Rosary daily. She was a member at Forty Martyrs in Tuscola. 

The family received friends at Hilligoss Shrader Funeral Home, 705 S. Main St. Tuscola, on Monday, May 17, 2021 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  

Mass of Christian Burial was offered on Tuesday May 18, 2021 at 11:00 a.m., at Forty Martyrs Catholic Church, 201 E. Van Allen St. Tuscola with co-celebrants Rev. Father Tim Monahan, Father Kyle Lucas and Rev. Father Angel Sierra. 

A Luncheon was held afterwards at the Forty Martyrs Parish Hall and all were welcome. 

Donations can be made in lieu of flowers to Good Counsel Homes & Hope for Babies & Mothers, https://www.goodcounselhomes.org/how-to-help/donate and Wounded Warrior Project, https://support.woundedwarriorproject.org/

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