Patricia McDonald obituary
Patricia W. “Patty” McDonald passed away peacefully from natural causes on November 15, 2022, at the age of 88, surrounded by loving family. Patty Wise was born in Lake City, Minn., on November 4, 1934, as the older of two daughters, to Verner and Myrtle Wise. Her early years were filled with the “Norman Rockwell” ambience of a small town, especially in spending hours at the local skating rink in the wintertime. She was always grateful to her parents for providing her with such a happy childhood. In 1952 she graduated from Lake City High School as a member of the National Honor Society and subsequently completed training at the Minnesota School of Business.
She married Robert McDonald in 1954 and began a family with the arrival of their first of four children in 1955. Her spouse’s career had them moving during their first few years from Washington, DC, New York, and Denver, before settling in the St. Anthony Park neighborhood of St. Paul, where she worked tirelessly as a loving homemaker. In 1974 she began working as administrative secretary at the University of Minnesota Air Force ROTC unit, a position she would hold for 24 years. During this time, Patty raised a family, attained an Associate of Arts degree, and reinvented herself as a strong, self-supporting single woman after a divorce.
Her zest for life continued as she enjoyed SCUBA diving in the Caribbean, sojourning in Mexico, traveling to Europe and Alaska, hiking, swimming, gardening, and long-distance bicycle riding. Despite the rumors, there was never any definitive proof of dalliances with Pierre Trudeau, Mick Jagger, or Paul Newman during this phase of her life. Always willing to help others, she volunteered in the local elementary school and at the Roseville YMCA. Later in life, her pride and joy were in serving as “Grammie Mac”, the matriarch of an extended family and she was extremely proud of her adult children: a doctor, an artist, an executive, and an educator. She called her numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren “Grammie’s choo choo”. Patty remained active well into her 80s until health issues began to ensue. At the end of her life, she retained her fierce independence and chose to enter hospice care rather than extend her life in a skilled nursing facility after “the air has left the balloon”. She had planned for this moment for a long time with the Cremation Society of Minnesota.
She is survived by her children, Brian and spouse LaNor (Cannon Falls, Minn.), Shawn and spouse Mary (Moose Pass, Alaska), Philip and spouse Denise (Roseville, Minn.), Julie and spouse Gerry (Otis, Ore.), 12 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, younger sister Audrey and spouse James Sass (Lake City, Minn.), long-time friends Ben Morales (St. Paul, Minn.) and Ruth Michaud (Shakopee, Minn.), and loving feline companions “Annie” and “Handsome Harold”. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to either the University of Minnesota Bee Research Lab or HealthPartners Hospice. A celebration of life will be held next summer at one of her favorite childhood places, Como Park in St. Paul.