Lois Francis McDonald, beloved wife, mother and meema, left this earth in the early morning hours of Monday, Sept. 1, 2019.
Lois was born Sept. 15, 1943, in Port Washington, N.Y., where she grew up with her two older and three younger sisters. She attended Paul D. Schreiber High School and worked at her family’s business, Louie’s Seashore Restaurant, which was opened by her grandparents in 1905. It was here that she mastered baking pies and cooking for a crowd. Her stepfather, Col. William A. Rau, was stationed in Garmisch, Germany, where he moved his wife and five youngest daughters in 1964. It was a playground for the older sisters, living on the U.S. Army base in this charming mountain town in the heart of the Bavarian Alps. The stories are infamous and many—great and wild times, not suitable for printing here.
After two years in Europe, Lois followed her soon-to-be-married sister, Patti, to Kimberly, Idaho, where she met John McDonald in 1966. They fell in love and married soon after. In January of 1969, they moved their young family north to Ketchum, Idaho.
Lois was a gifted interior designer for the larger part of 30 years. She owned her own business, Boulder Concepts, and had many loyal and admiring clients. She was very active in the community and instrumental in creating the first kindergarten class at Hemingway Elementary School. She was one of the earliest members of both the Papoose Club and the Junior Chamber of Commerce. Always an enthusiastic supporter of education and children’s programs, she served on the parent auxiliary boards at the local schools and was a leader in creating the first Senior Bash for high school graduates in the valley. Lois served on the American Legion Women’s Auxiliary and devoted herself to the Sagebrush Therapeutic Riding Center at its inception and for many years to follow, now the SwiftSure Ranch. She gave her time generously and delighted in working with others for the betterment of all.
As much as she committed herself to her community, she was the living example of generosity to friends and family—always ready to host a dinner, barbecue or party. Without contest, she made the best brownies, pies and cookies in the world. She could magically prepare a meal for any number of guests with only a moment’s notice—the more, the better. She was a friend to all and never knew a stranger. Whether you found her in her garden, her motorhome at Redfish Lake or watching the sunset at Keawakapu Beach in Maui, she sought and cultivated joy everywhere she went. Lois took great pleasure in playing with her grandchildren and loved them beyond measure—not one can recall her ever telling them “no.” Her laugh was boisterous and infectious, drawing the attention of anyone remotely near as it uniquely traveled its path—loud and often. She loved singing and dancing and was a sly card player and an exceptional partner in crime—if there was fun to be found, she would be there, leading the charge.
Lois was preceded in death by her mother, Lilian Rau; father, Frederick John Lovett; stepfather, Col. Willam A. Rau; and beloved sister Patti Williams. Lois is survived by her husband of 52 years, John H. McDonald; her children, Michelle, David and Johnny; and five grandchildren, Gavin, Rachel, Makena, Teague and Savanna. Lois is one of six sisters and is survived by Linda Milner, Alice Rau, Kathy Rosler-Cuce and Mary Russo. She is also survived by loving in-laws and many dear nieces and nephews and more friends than can be counted.
A graveside service will be held at noon on Sunday, Sept. 15, at the Ketchum Cemetery. A celebration of her life will follow at 105 McDonald Lane, Ketchum. In honor of Lois’ love of a good party, all friends and family are welcome. In her loving memory, the family suggests donations to the Ketchum American Legion, Post 115, Box 625, Ketchum, ID 83340.