Lorena “Lori” McDonald, 76, of Southbury, passed due to complications from coronavirus on May 6. She bravely faced her Parkinson’s Disease with grit, humor and grace from 2004 onward. Born in Washington, DC, in 1944, to Elva Ruth (Bibb) and Woody Brown, Lori grew up in Holbrook, Arizona and attended the University of Arizona. She earned a Masters in Directing at the University of Connecticut, where she met her surviving husband of 52 years, Terence “Terry” McDonald. She loved to tell the story of seeing Terry tap dancing down the street and decided he was someone she wanted to get to know.
Together they ran Playhouse of American Classics in New York City and Buffalo. Lori had three careers. She started as a costumer, working for Hollywood Squares and other television shows as well as regional theatres. She then became a Director of Development for John Houseman’s theatre, The Acting Company; The Joffrey Ballet; The United Way of Tristate; and Brooklyn Center at Brooklyn College; all in New York City. Finally, Lori taught computer science to elementary schools, both private & public, in New York City and Buffalo for decades before retiring.
Mother to Jason McDonald (wife Terry Meyers, son Ronan McDonald) of New York City, and Ryan McDonald (wife Sarah McDonald, children Caleb, Hannah and Leah McDonald) of Summit, New Jersey. Lori was a kind, compassionate, loving mother who broke cycles of childhood abuse to shower her children and grandchildren with affection. She is also survived by her brother, Troy Brown of Scott, Arizona (wife Dee, children Stacy and Whitney). In addition she loved our extended family including Elizabeth & Joe Covino, Patricia & Chuck Ottavio, Joseph & Aileen Sullivan, Maureen & Bill Legg, Kathryn & Jason Duncan, Julie Reibold, Karil Reibold & Bob Fernald, as well as the many children and grandchildren in their families. She dearly loved her college friends Barbara Malkin and Gail Shatsky, who showered her with cards and books when she entered long term care at the Lutheran Home of Southbury, whom the family thanks for their care and support. She also loved and trusted Yolanda Qureshi, her first nurse’s aide, whom she came to consider her “adopted daughter.” Her sisters-in-law Pat McDonald and Suzanne Welles loved and cherished her throughout her battle with Parkinson’s. Her cousin Ann McDonald guided and mentored the family during their journey through Connecticut Medicaid laws and we cannot thank her enough for her support.
As residents of Buffalo, New York City, and Southbury, Connecticut, Lori and Terry were blessed with many great friends, who enjoyed Lori’s warm friendship, humor, and laughter. She enjoyed movies and restaurants and being social. Her friends and family will miss her terribly and will always know that she will be with them in spirit.
Funeral services will be held online. Please contact Jason McDonald at email@example.com for more information.