August 6, 1941 – December 17, 2018

With profound sadness and loving hearts, we said goodbye to wife and mother, Ethel Mae (Hamilton) MacDonald on December 17, 2018. Ethel passed away peacefully at the Juravinski Hospital at the age of 77 years, following a courageous battle with cancer.

She leaves behind her soulmate and husband, Richard MacDonald, her devoted daughters, Cheryl (David) and Heather (Jamie) and her beloved grandchildren, Rhys and Norah. Her brother-in-law, David and sister-in-law, Theresa as well as her nieces and nephews, John, Carol, Bob, Kathryn, Tom, James and Jennifer will also miss her greatly.

Ethel enjoyed a wonderful and rewarding career in education, as a Family Studies teacher and later as Head of Department at several schools including Dundas District High School and Highland Secondary School. She was a dedicated and much-loved teacher.

Ethel was an active member of the Canadian Federation of University Women – Hamilton, serving on the Executive for many years including the role of President. She also was a long-time member of Grace Lutheran Church, serving in a variety of roles including Chair of the Worship Committee, a member of the Church Council and Lay Assistant for Sunday services.

In her spare time, Ethel loved being in the outdoors, either at the family farm on the Manitoulin Island or walking in the beautiful conservation areas in the Dundas Valley. She loved animals including her three dogs, Bryer, Jake and Lucy. She also enjoyed gardening, travel and attending local cultural events.

Thank you to Dr. Emili, Dr. Myers, Dr. Forbes, Dr. Serrano and Dr. Whitton, along with all the compassionate and supportive staff at the Juravinski Hospital. Their care and expertise helped extend Ethel’s life and we are grateful for the time we had with her.

Ethel cared deeply about education, particularly the education of girls and women as well as the natural environment. Memorial donations can be made to the Canadian Federation of University Women – Hamilton Scholarship Fund or the Hamilton Conservation Foundation.

Family and friends will gather at Grace Lutheran Church, 1107 Main Street West, Hamilton, on Friday, December 28, 2018 for a service at 2 pm celebrating Ethel’s life followed by a reception from 3-5 pm in Grace Hall, adjoining the church. All who knew Ethel are invited to join us for the service and/or reception.

22 Messages to MacDonald, Ethel Mae (nee Hamilton)

  • John W Byers

    So sorry to hear of your loss. Ethel was a most supportive colleague at Dundas District High School and I enjoyed working with her very much. I will miss our more recent conversations at the gym. She always cared deeply about education and wanted the very best for her students.

  • Carolanne Forster

    My condolences to Ethel’s family upon her passing. I will always remember, that as a young teacher at Highland, Ethel was a source of advice and support for me, in those early turbulent days in the classrooms of Highland Secondary School. This Christmas I once again made the chocolate bark recipes, she gave me many years ago. Always sharing, always giving, we will miss you good friend.

  • Olivia

    It was an absolute joy knowing Ethel and her presence will be missed. We saw her strength and perseverance shine through during the hard times. Our deepest condolences to Richard and his family.
    From Mary and Olivia at Total Health Pharmacy

  • Marilyn Brown

    Richard, Cheryl, Heather & family – We are so sorry for your loss. Ethel was a life long friend, starting in public school, I didn’t see her often but we always had a connection when we met. Have many happy memories, I will miss her. May your memories bring you comfort.
    Sincere sympathy
    Marilyn & Bob Brown

  • Anne Tennier

    My condolences to Richard, Cheryl and Heather. Ethel was a vibrant woman who loved life. She will be missed.

  • Pauline Boughton

    Dear Richard, Cheryl, Heather, David, Jamie and Family
    We are so sorry to hear of the loss of Ethel after her courageous battle with cancer. Sending our love and thoughts from the U.K.
    Love from Ray and Pauline Boughton

  • Joan Winfield

    I am so sorry to hear of Ethel’s passing. She was a classmate of mine at the University of Guelph. I remember she always had a smile on her face, even though life did not always go her wayl. I have many great memories of those years. My sympathy to the family.
    May she rest in peace.

  • Glenn & Cyndy Paul

    Richard, Cheryl, and Heather, we are so saddened to hear of Ethel’s passing. We send our love and sincere sympathies to you during this time. Love Glenn, Cyndy and Matt.

  • Cheryl Coats

    Offering condolences to the MacDonald Family. Mrs MacDonald was a wonderful teacher at Dundas District. She had a passion for the students that she taught and encouraged us to follow our passions and dreams.

  • Bob Duxbury

    I recall fondly my working years with Ethel from 1988 to 1998, when we retired from education together in June of that year. My memories include her devotion to her students and her strong work ethic. She seemed never to be subdued by the stresses and strains of what we did on a daily basis. She was one you always thought you could count on. My most sincere condolences to Ethel’s family at this trying time.

  • Tricia

    So sorry to hear about Mrs. MacDonald’s passing. She was my Family Studies teacher at Highland in 1989. When I saw her picture in the paper it sure took me back to that classroom at Highland. She was a wonderful teacher, fun and enthusiastic but also tough as she wanted all of her students to do the best they could do. Thinking of all of you at this hard time.

    Tricia Hood (Tew)

  • Rose O'Connor

    My sympathy to Richard and Family.
    I met Ethel through the CFUW, her dedication, warm smile and her caring attitude.
    May your special memories sustain you through this difficult time.
    Rose O’Connor
    Dec.26, 2018

  • Lynne Paton

    Richard, I’m so very sorry to read of Ethel’s passing. My sincere condolences to you and your family.

  • Karina Lopez ivich

    Dear Richard, Cheryl and Heather, I send you my love from Mexico. I will always have great memories of Ethel, always smiling, such a sharmy person. Richard I always thought I would have a chance to visit both you and Ethel in Canada soon. I feel sad I did not go before. I always remember you as my Canadian family. May your love and great memories of her walking you through this difficult time with love. Love Karina

  • Margaret Reid

    So sorry to hear of your loss. Hoping all your good memories of a life together carries you through these hard times.

  • Bob Waterhouse

    Proud to have called Ethel a friend and colleague when I was new to The Wentworth Board of Ed. as teacher at Highland SS in 1989. I saw her, Richard & dogs in the Fall while walking dogs in the autumn morning splendor of the escarpment. Fondly remembered as a colleague whose passion for youth and their school and life success was always evident in her smile and words. Your legacy as a teacher, Mother, wife, Grandma and friend is assured….
    Bob Waterhouse

  • Deanna Harris

    Dear Richard and family
    I first met Ethel 58 years ago in Mac Hall. What a wonderful friend she has been these many years. Since I live on the west coast, our get togethers have been sporadic but always special. I will cherish the lunch we had in August along with two other close friends from our university days. Ethel was sincere, insightful, an encourager, spoke her mind, had a great sense of humour, a winning smile and a positive outlook on life, even when I last saw her in August.
    May God comfort you in your grief. I share your pain and mourn with you.
    Deanna Harris

  • Christine Gerth

    I have known Ethel since 1981 when we both taught at Dundas District and later at Highland Secondary School. After retirement our paths crossed again at CFUW. I have fond memories of Ethel as a dedicated teacher, as a hard worker on the CFUW executive, and as a kind and loving person who cherished her family above all else. My deepest condolences go out to Richard, Cheryl, Heather and all their family.

  • Barbara Rogerson

    My sympathy to all of you. May your love and good memories help you through the season. I am a grateful classmate of Ethel and appreciate her company and correspondence over the years.
    Barbara Rogerson

  • Coleen McNaughton-D’Amico

    Richard, Cheryl, Heather and family… I was at my Mom’s tonight and she told me the sad news about Ethel. I am so sorry for your loss. I hadn’t seen Ethel for a long time but always thought of her. She gave me a beautiful frame from one of her trips to Mexico which I never forgot and every time I look at it I think of her. She was a great lady. Thinking of all of you with heartfelt sympathy ❤️Coleen McNaughton D’Amico & my Mom Judi McNaughton

  • Jo Newton

    I only knew Ethel for four or five years, but she was a lovely person and my heart goes out to her family and friends at this particularly difficult time of the year. She will be missed by all of her friends at CFUW. We often ran into each other at the Dundas Driving Park and I will be looking out for her next time I walk my dog.

  • Judith and Tom

    Richard, Cheryl and Heather – Tom and I are truly sorrow to read for your loss in the Spectator this morning.
    It’s very difficult to lose your life partner and your mother. I remember Ethel well and although I’ve not seen her in a long time, she has entered my thoughts many times. The two things I remember about Ethel was her constant smile and what a great cook she was.
    May the wonderful memories you have of her bring you comfort in the days ahead.
    Warm regards,
    Judy and Tom

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