BiographyELIZABETH BREARLEY McDONALD – November 13, 2009
Devoted mother, wife, grandmother, great grandmother, sister, aunt and truest friend, Elizabeth B. McDonald passed away peacefully in the wee morning hours of November 13, 2009, slipping away unexpectedly following surgery after a fall just days before. Independent and a vital force in the world until the last, just as she expected and willed her life to be. The world listened to her, as did we.
Born April 1, 1922 in Rockford, IL to Walter E. Brearley and Anna Carter Brearley. Attended PR Walker School and maintained lifelong buddies from Kindergarten to this day. This was our Mom, a friend for life and a friend to all. “Babe,” as her high school friends called her (much to her father’s dismay), graduated with the last class of Central Rockford High School in 1940. She attended Stephens College and the University of IL where she was a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority.
Married in 1943 to her love of nearly 63 years, Philip E. McDonald, Liz is survived by their five children: “Skip” Philip Jr. (Betty), Bruce (Deborah), James (Barbara), all of Rockford, Ann McDonald-Cacho (Bernard) of Berkeley, CA, and Robert of Wisconsin Rapids. Twelve grandchildren will miss Grandma so much: Okcha, Micha, Megan Pedersen, Nathan (Jessica), Sarah Snyder (Sam), Jordan (Kari), David, Cody Ann, Trevor (Amie), Philip Cacho, Molly Peterson (Mike) and Amanda; and three great grandchildren: Moriah, Josh and Jake Pedersen and their Dad Chris. Survived too by her dear brother John Brearley of Rockford and treasured nieces, nephews and cousins.
Liz served as a Home Service volunteer for American Red Cross during the Vietnam War supporting families whose sons and daughters had been put in harm’s way even as her own son was serving. This was our Mom, strength in a showdown against vulnerability. She served as Board member of the Tuberculosis Association and Jr. League of Rockford, “Call-on-Casey” on WREX-TV for Jr. League, and “pink lady” for Rockford Memorial Hospital. Direct Care Volunteer for Northern Illinois Hospice and Desert Hospice of Palm Springs, CA, driven by the need to provide essential comfort and confidence to families living with cancer, as she honored her brother she lost on this journey in the prime of life. Employed by Court Street United Methodist Church as Secretary and Business Manager. Member of Court Street United Methodist Church. Member of Rockford Country Club and a regular at Northpointe fitness.
Lover and elicitor of all things beautiful: in people, in acts of kindness, in art and in nature.
Elizabeth and Philip were winter residents of Indian Wells, CA following retirement in 1983 and were members of Indian Wells Country Club.
Predeceased by husband Philip in 2006, her Grandparents Mr. and Mrs. Albert Brearley and Mr. and Mrs. William Carter of MT, her parents, brother William A. Brearley, beloved cousin Barbara (Ralston) Franchini, BFF “Huggie” Beattie and an amazing cast of the greatest generation.
Memorial service at 10:30 A.M. Monday November 30, 2009 at Court Street United Methodist Church. In lieu of flowers please sprinkle birdseed to help God’s creatures make it through the winter. Please make donations of your choice or hers: Court Street United Methodist Church and Northern IL Hospice.
November 30, 2009, 10:30 A.M.
Court Street United Methodist Church