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Tiffany Funeral Home

OBITUARY

Kathryn Anita McDonald

September 23, 1946February 3, 2021

Kathryn Anita (Hunt) McDonald, age 74, of Lansing, Michigan died at home on February 3, 2021 holding the hand of her husband of 56 years.

Kathryn (Kathy) is survived by her husband, Robert, her daughters Lisa-Marie Wright (Simon), Kristen McDonald Rivet (Joseph) and Karen McDonald Weiss (Jeffrey); and her eight grandchildren, Morgan Wright, Madison Stone, Maeve Stargardt, Griffin Wright, Ella Stone, Ian Stargardt, Cecilia Wright and Elijah Rivet; and six step-grandchildren, Courtney Rivet-Noor (Suhail), Andrew Weiss, Emily Weiss, Grant Rivet, Aaron Weiss and Laken Rivet. Kathy is also survived by her god-daughter, Theadora Hunt.

Kathy graduated from Holt High School. She had a tumultuous childhood and this perhaps had the most impact on her life even evidenced in her last weeks and days as her hospice workers and husband remarked, “She’s a fighter.” Though Kathy did not have a lot of opportunities as a child, she set a course to live her life as a strong, independent and moral person. Kathy was a force and was responsible for her younger siblings at a very young age. In 1963 she met Bob. He had just returned from the military. He was a former rodeo-rider, worked construction and was a sky-diver on the weekends at local festivals. He was handsome, spirited and funny. Kathy was lovely, determined and bright. They married a year later.

Their first born, Lisa-Marie, was born in 1967. The twins, Kristen and Karen (in her happiest moments Kathy still referred to them as Krissy and Kari even in her last days) were born in 1970. Kathy was a stay at home mom for most of the girls’ childhood. Bob and Kathy moved to Portland, Michigan in 1972 where they built a home they viewed as the nicest place they had ever lived and where they raised their girls. Kathy always wanted more for her daughters and was not shy about saying it. Bedtime stories were about going to college someday (something she had not been able to do), long summer days were spent by the backyard pool, Kathy watching diligently while the girls swam. To say she was a protective mother does not really cover it. Expectations were high, rules needed to be followed. Bob used to say Kathy was a hell of a measuring stick for the family and Kathy liked hearing it. All three of the girls did indeed graduate from college and also received graduate degrees. In one of the most remarkable events in Kathy’s life, she attended college in 1988 while working full time and graduated summa cum laude. She was 42.

Without a doubt Kathy’s golden years began in 1995, when her first grandchild, Morgan, was born. He, like his cousins and siblings after him, unlocked a part of her heart. Grandma K showed up with pure joy for these children. She spent summers with Maddie, Maeve, Ella and Ian up north at the lake, traveled to Minneapolis and then Iowa to see Morgan, Griffin and Ceci, and later, took pure delight when she saw Eli. All of them visited or spoke to Grandma K in her last days which meant everything to her. Kathy’s last few years were difficult for her. She battled Lupus her whole life but choose not to risk being hospitalized fearing she would die alone without her family able to be with her. In the last chapter of Bob and Kathy’s life together they chose to be together, Kathy often asking for Bob to lie next to her and hold her hand. Even at 82, Bob was Kathy’s main caregiver and neither one of them would consider anything else. It was the truest love story one can hope for, having the man she spent 57 years with guard over her, insistent on caring for her.

Kathy McDonald spent 74 years in perhaps the most remarkable way one can imagine; trying to find a way to right the wrongs she had endured, building a life for the people she loved, pushing them always to work hard, exhibit character and commitment, not to make excuses, but always, always, take the time to savor the sun as it sets on the northern shores of Lake Michigan which she loved dearly. Her life and path were not smooth or subtle, she loved fiercely and left a footprint that you can see in the will and heart of her three daughters.

Kathy McDonald was tough, did not filter her words when others might have but you always knew where you stood. Even in her last days as she was battling unthinkable pain she managed through a whisper to make a joke. Just a few days before she passed away she was asked what she was most proud of. Her answer is probably the best legacy she leaves: “My girls,” she said. “My girls.”

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Gerard Catholic Church, 4437 West Willow Highway, Lansing, Michigan, on Saturday, March 6th at 10:30 am. Visitation will be held at Tiffany Funeral Home on Friday, March 5, 2021 from 6-8 PM with a Rosary being prayed at 7:00 PM. Observing social distancing and the wearing of a masks are required at both the Church and Funeral Home.

Memorial contributions in Kathy’s name may be made to Capital Area Humane Society (cahs-lansing.org) or Lupus Foundation of America (lupus.org).

  • DONATIONS

  • Lupus Foundation of America
  • CAHS

Services

5 March

Visitation

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Tiffany Funeral Home


Lansing, Michigan

5 March

Rosary Service

7:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Tiffany Funeral Home


Lansing, Michigan

6 March

Mass of Christian Burial

10:30 am

St. Gerard Catholic Church


Lansing, Michigan

Memories

Kathryn Anita McDonald

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Kendra Howard

February 21, 2021

Kristen, my prayers of blessings and strength are with you and your family during this time.

Kendra Howard.

Lori Colina-Lee

February 9, 2021

I am so sorry to hear of her passing. She created and shaped such wonderful strong beautiful daughters and that was an amazing gift to the world.
Love to the family and especially to my sorority kid, Karen. I hold you all in my hearts
xo
Lori Colina-Lee

Teresa (Thomas) Rumsey

February 6, 2021

I am sorry for you loss..I am thinking about you and the girls sending prayers..I will say I have some very great memories of my sister how we came out and went swimming to your house for the time she was with me when I had my daughter..In the room with me and my husband holding my hand telling everything would be ok...Memories like that can never be forgotten..Her and the girls came over all the time after we got home..Sister I will never forget you and all you have done for me..R.I.P sister

Teresa (Thomas) Rumsey

February 6, 2021

I am so sorry for your lost..I will always have great memories of my sister..How she was there when I had my daughter and in the room holding my hand..Never forget her and the girls coming over to see the baby after we came home...I am thinking about you and the girls..R.I.P Sister

Michelle Higbee

February 6, 2021

I’m so glad to have shared some back yard pool time in those younger years at your home. Kathy always made me feel welcomed and I was fortunate to have known her. It is heartwarming to know you were with her for those last moments. Mr. McDonald, Lisa, Kristin and Karen I’m sorry for your loss. May all the memories and stories in the coming days ease your aching hearts.
Prayers for you all,

Michelle (Shelly) Holland Higbee

Raymond Rumsey

February 6, 2021

I am very grateful to have known Kathryn and her family. It is kind ironic that she laughed at me for saying she was the matriarch of the family. You surely are and will be missed dearly.

Donna and George Becker

February 6, 2021

Bob, Lisa, Kris and Karen. Kathy meant the world to both George and I. We are grieving with you but also know she’s no longer in pain. We have many great memories to cherish. Please know our love is with all of you.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY