Merabeth D. Donaldson – Shelburne

Merabeth D. Donaldson, “Merry” to family and friends, passed away peacefully on Feb. 25, 2013, in the Vermont Respite House. Her husband of 56 years, Jim, and their daughters, Mandy and Dianna, were by her side. Merry was born March 17, 1933, in Danbury, Conn., daughter of the late Gardner and Alma Dogherty. She grew up in West Hartford, Conn., and graduated from Colby Junior College. She continued her education at Colby College, Waterville, Maine, where she met her husband, James R. Donaldson Jr. “Jimmy/Jim.” She married Jimmy on Sept. 8, 1956. She taught second grade in Sutton and Shrewsbury, Mass., and earned her M.Ed. from Worchester State University in 1959. She and her husband lived in Florida, California, and Colorado before settling in Shelburne in 1967. Merry was a full-time homemaker who was very involved in her daughters’ lives and that of their friends. She was particularly active in Girls Scouts, serving as a troop leader to three troops for over 25 years. In parallel with scouting, she was involved with her daughters’ love of ski racing at Cochran’s, helping establish the Cochran Ski Club. She and Jim were Co-Presidents of the AFS Exchange Club at CVU. She enjoyed serving her community by working the polls, supporting the Shelburne Area Lion’s Club and the Vermont JDRF. Merry and Jimmy shared a passion for the Boston Red Sox, making it to spring training in 2011. She was an accomplished pianist and organist. She loved shopping for her grandchildren and spending time with them, especially at Disney World Family Reunions. She had a lifelong love of cats and always treated them as a member of her family. In their retirement years, Merry and Jimmy journeyed to Alaska, Newfoundland, and Labrador. On their trips to Florida they often took the road less traveled to explore another part of America. She will be remembered for her insight and wisdom, putting others first, and her loving devotion to her family. In addition to her husband, James R. Donaldson Jr, she is survived by her daughters, Amanda “Mandy” Donaldson Courtwright of Chittenango, N.Y., and Dianna Donaldson McGreevy and husband, Neil, of Troy, N.Y.; four grandchildren, Hillary and Alexandra Courtwright, and Zoe and Paul McGreevy; siblings, Virginia “Ginny” Dogherty, Dwight Dogherty, and Susan (Dogherty) Lawrence and husband, David. Lastly, she leaves her loving cat, Patrick, who shared her birthday. Interment will be held in the spring. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Merry’s memory to The Vermont Respite House, 99 Allen Brook Lane, Williston, Vt. 05495.

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