Arlene Lynne MacDonald

November 4, 1919January 13, 2014

Mrs. Arlene (Lynne) MacDonald passed away at her home at the age of 94, surrounded by family, on January 13, 2014. Lynne was co-founder of Responsible Environmental Protection for Sandwich (REPS), a group dedicated to insuring Sandwich addressed issues related to preserving lands for public use, and water quality standards. Lynne was also a member of the MMR committee for FS-12, the Sandwich site of pollution generated by the Air Base, and a frequent writer to the Cape Cod Times on the importance of preserving groundwater sources on the Cape. An enthusiastic traveler, gardener, and bird watcher, Lynne was a long-time member of the Audubon Society, the Association for Preservation of Cape Cod, and trustee of the Sandwich Conservation Trust, as well as a founding member of the PBS station WGBH in Boston.

Lynne initiated the Sister City relationship between Sandwich and Segilei, a town on the Volga River in the former Soviet Union, which led to an exchange of correspondence, drawings and photographs between the residents of the two communities. During this same period, Lynne elected to take courses in Russian at an area college, as a way of further gaining a sense of another culture.

Lynne resided in Sandwich since 1973, after moving from Duxbury, Massachusetts on the retirement of her husband. Involved on many levels with the Sandwich Public Library, Lynne was active and involved in a variety of other service groups in the greater Sandwich community.

Born in Harve, Montana, Lynne grew up in Seattle, Washington, where she studied theater arts at the University of Washington, and later played at the Penthouse and Showboat theaters in Seattle. During this same period, Lynne was involved with an acting company that played at the 1939 San Francisco International Exposition. After moving to New York, Lynne was a professional actress, playing in summer stock companies in New Jersey and Massachusetts, as well as touring with the national company of Moss Hart’s play “Junior Miss”, with two months at the Wilbur Theater in Boston. Lynne acted in, directed and wrote plays for a variety of community theater groups, first in Needham, Massachusetts, then Duxbury and later Sandwich, to include a production at the Barnstable Comedy Club. Lynne wrote a number of Chancel plays, first performed at the Unitarian Church of Barnstable, where Lynne was a long-time member. Active with the Unitarian Church for many years, Lynne was previously a member of the West Roxbury, Needham and Duxbury Unitarian Churches. Since a transition to theater and subsequent move to New York City resulted in Lynne not completing studies at the University of Washington, Lynne elected to study with the Harvard Extension program (Harvard University) , traveling for a number of years from Duxbury to Cambridge, earning a Bachelor Of Arts degree in 1968, with high honors.

In later years Lynne focused on writing poetry, with publication of her works in a number of poetry anthologies, to include the Aurorean. A questing spirit and investment in knowledge for its own sake remained a driving force throughout Lynne’s life.

Lynne was the beloved wife of the late Captain Malcolm MacDonald, a former Boston Harbor Pilot who died in 1984. Lynne is survived by her two sons, S. Craig MacDonald of Ellsworth, Maine, Gary MacDonald and wife Karen of Conway, New Hampshire, grandchildren Alison MacDonald and husband David Greenberg of Tacoma Park, Maryland and Trevor MacDonald and wife Annica of Weston, Massachusetts. Lynne also much enjoyed the company of her great-grandchildren Abigail and Benjamin Greenberg and Leah and Logan MacDonald. Lynne is also survived by her sister Joan H. Larson and husband Russell of Fountain Hills, Arizona.

A service to celebrate her life will be held at the Unitarian Church of Barnstable on Saturday, February 1st at 1:00PM. In lieu of flowers, donations in her name may be sent to the Sandwich Public Library or the Unitarian Church of Barnstable. For online guestbook, please visit


Arlene Lynne MacDonald

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Kathie Cronin

January 25, 2014

Gary,Karen and Craig my heart goes out to you . Your Mom Lynne was a wonderful woman. She was truly beautiful inside and out. I had the privilege of knowing her as a neighbor and a friend for over 40 years. She will be missed. I wish I could be at the service but I will be thinking of you. Warm regards, Kathie Cronin

Sue Walker

January 20, 2014

Lynne's friendship and support have always meant a great deal to me. Her contributions to Sandwich, Cape Cod and the world made them all a better place. She was always ready to do her part to protect the planet and advocate for peace. She enjoyed her family and the simple things in life. She knew how to find the sacred.

Sue Walker

January 20, 2014

May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.

Jen Sexton

January 20, 2014

I am so grateful to have met Lynne, to have experienced her humor and her passion and her wisdom, and I am grateful that I will continue to have her in my heart and memory as an example of a life well lived. I miss you, Lynne. Thank you.

Lesley Miller

January 17, 2014

It was just a year ago when I first had the privilege of meeting Lynne as a Pet Therapy volunteer for VNA Hospice. She was such a warm, gracious lady that I looked forward eagerly to bringing my dog to visit with her. We had several common interests as well as a mutual friend, a Boston harbor pilot before he retired to manage the Boston Waterboat Marina. I wish that I had could have known Lynne for many years.

The Staff of Nickerson-Bourne Funeral Home

January 16, 2014

We wish to extend our deepest sympathies at this difficult time.