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Mary M. McDonald

Iowa City

Mary M. McDonald, 73, passed away Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at
10:30 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 19, at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church in Iowa City. Father William Haesaert will officiate. Visitation will be Wednesday from 4 to
7 p.m. at Lensing Funeral & Cremation Service, Iowa City, where a rosary will be recited at 6:30 p.m. Burial will be at St. Joseph Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Andre House of Arizona, 213 S. 11th St., P.O. Box 2014, Phoenix, AZ 85001.
Mary was born Feb. 3, 1946, in Iowa City, the daughter of Ray and Mary (Ruess) Ipsen. She was a 1964 graduate of Regina High School. She received her B.A. degree from Creighton University, 1968, and her M.A. degree in early childhood education from the University of Iowa, 1972. On Aug. 16, 1969, Mary married Thomas E. McDonald in Iowa City.
Mary received her certification from the Association Montessori Internationale, Montessori Education Center of Arizona, 1999. From 1982 to 2005, Mary received several certifications in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, Rome, Italy, where she studied under the tutelage of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program founder, Dr. Sofia Cavaletti and Gianna Gobi, Rome, Italy.
Mary dedicated her life to the early childhood education, and especially something very important to her, the child's Catholic faith. Throughout her life and teaching career, she was instrumental in initiating and launching several schools and school programs involved with the education of young children. Mary was the founder, director and teacher of a preschool working in close association with St. Wenceslaus Roman Catholic Church in Iowa City, Iowa, from 1983 to 1987. She was the founding kindergarten teacher at Ville de Marie Academy, Scottsdale, Ariz., from 1992-94 and returned to the school to teach again from 1997-99. In 2000, she and Tom moved to Whitmore Lake, Mich., where she initially taught at Spiritus Sanctus Academy in Plymouth, Mich. In 2001, she was engaged by the Rev. William Thomas of Holy Spirit Roman Catholic Church in Hamburg, Mich., to become the founding principal of its new elementary school. In addition to her duties as principal and curriculum director, Mary also served as the preschool and kindergarten teacher at Holy Spirit Roman Catholic Elementary School. In 2009, she and Tom returned to Scottsdale, Ariz., and she became involved with Montessori and Catechesis of the Good Shepherd programs in St. Maria Goretti Parish, Scottsdale, Ariz., and St. Francis Grade School, Phoenix.
Mary is survived by her loving husband, Thomas of Scottsdale; and their three children and six grandchildren, Michelle M. Rooney, her husband, Rick, and their children, Sofia, Sarah, Jacob and Lily; Matthew R. McDonald, his wife, Julie, and their daughter, Avigail; and Megan M. Agliano, her husband, Chris, and their daughter, Abigail; and many brothers and sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family.
Mary was preceded in death by her parents and her in-laws, Alfred and Mary Agnes McDonald.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.lensingfuneral.com.
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