Katy McDonald died last week at 80 years old — or around that age, her surviving family members think.
She was the kind of woman who never met a stranger, but she did bring a few home.
The family says she might have left this world on purpose, so she wouldn't have to cast another vote in the American elections. And in lieu of flowers, McDonald would probably want everyone to write their congress member and ask for the repeal of daylight saving time.
All of the above and more can be found in McDonald's obituary, written with humor and love by her children and family.
"We enjoyed writing it. Our family is known for our sense of humor," her son David McDonald said this week. "I'm glad people enjoyed it."
Katy McDonald's father-in-law was a cousin of Roy McDonald, who founded the former Chattanooga Free Press, according to David McDonald. She worked in the Free Press mailroom for a while and her husband, Charles Alan McDonald, worked in the circulation department.
She also worked at Red Bank Hospital as a dietitian, where she served up cornbread that was a favorite among patients, family and friends.
"The recipe is untouchable," the obit states. "Seriously, we can't find it. If anyone has a copy, please let the family know."
Katy McDonald left behind a lot of old stuff that her kids don't know what to do with. Anyone interested can reach out to the family after an "appropriate" amount of time.
"Tomorrow should be fine," the obituary reads.
Katy McDonald was preceded in death by her husband and a lot of beloved family pets, including her darling mutt Jack, who lost his tail in an "unfortunate accident." She saved the tail in the freezer "just in case," according to the family.
"She had the heart and soul of a poet, and she was pretty spectacular," David McDonald said. "She was a splendid woman and throughout all of life's struggles, she just sort of laughed at the craziness of it all."
A service will be held Saturday, Dec. 21, from 12-2 p.m. at St. Jude Catholic Church at 930 Ashland Terrace. A Mass will follow at 2 p.m., after which the family will gather with friends to share stories and toast a life well lived, the obituary states.
"It's going to be one hell of a party," David McDonald said.
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Katy Lynn McDonald obituary:
Katy Lynn McDonald escaped this mortal realm on December 14, she was 80, we think.
The family believes she did it on purpose to avoid having to cast another vote in the American elections. Katy was world-renowned (#itsasmallworldafterall) for her generosity and kind disposition. She never met a stranger but she brought a few home (David W., you were our favorite).
Mom offered a charm, wit, and undying love to those who were her friends. She was simply an amazing gal, part saint part sinner all bundled up into one marvelous package. If you were fortunate to have met her, you'd have liked her immediately she was just that kind of person.
She was a studied cook of the old Southern school. Her chicken and dumplin' recipe was, as Tina would say, simply the best — a remarkable meal. Her recipes were used to feed thousands of patients when she worked as a dietary professional at Red Bank Hospital. Her cornbread was a favorite among patients and employees of the hospital—the recipe is untouchable seriously, we can't find it. If anyone has a copy, please let the family know.
Katy served in a variety of civic capacities: A Cub Scout den mother, a Boy Scout parent, a Brownie and Girl Scout mom, a baseball mom and volunteer (she managed the concessions and we got free candy), on the PTA (remember those?), and in various capacities at the Northside Presbyterian Church. And, most importantly, she loved gardening and growing stuff. She also did a whole lot of other things for us when we were kids, but we were too busy to make notes (sorry Mom).
However, we do sincerely appreciate her selfless sacrifices and various lessons of life, like how to use a napkin; to not eat soup with a fork; to say "please" and "thank you"; to call each-and-every-one of her and dad's friends "Mr. and Mrs."; and lots more.
She was preceded in death by the father of her four children, Charles Alan McDonald, whom she loved to her dying day, and her beloved family pets, Simon the Siamese cat; Peanut the wiener dog; Sugar the howling dog; Daisy the very-special-extremely-important stray dog; and most notably, Jack her darling mutt who once lost his tail in an unfortunate accident, whereupon Mom saved the tail in the freezer "just in case" (go figure).
She leaves behind her sons, Charles Alan "Chuck" (Jan); David Carl (Diane); Robert Edward (Golf); and her daughter Cynthia Lynn Mendenhall (Jerry). She also scurried out on a bunch of grandchildren, Tiffany McDonald; Cody McDonald; Meghan McDonald; Keely McDonald-Bamrick (John); Scott Mendenhall (Hannah); Anthony Mundis (Sarah); Katy Mendenhall-Ying (John); Kinsley Kilgore; and one great grandson called Mason Michael Mendenhall (Cute child. Thief of hearts.).
She left behind a lot of old stuff that her kids don't know what to do with. Anyone interested in some nick nacks, a bell, some art books, gardening tools, a couch, or old jewelry please wait the appropriate amount of time to reach out. Tomorrow should be fine.
The Family will host visitors on Saturday, December 21 from noon to 2 pm at St. Jude Catholic Church on Ashland Terrace. A Catholic Mass will follow at 2pm, after which the family will gather with friends to share stories and toast a life well lived.
Finally, the family asks that in lieu of flowers, please write your Congressman and ask for the repeal of Day Light Savings Time. We think Mom would like it if we were all on the Lord's Time.