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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Margaret Ellen McDonald

Thursday, October 6, 2011

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Margaret Ellen McDonald, 86, formerly of Cherokee, and a current resident of Iowa City died Oct. 4, 2011 at the Solon Nursing Care Center.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 8, at the First Presbyterian Church in Iowa City with the Reverend Sam Massey officiating. A time of fellowship will follow the services at the church. Memorial donations can be made in Margaret's memory to the Solon Nursing Care Center at 523 East 5th. Street, Solon, IA 52333. Online condolences may be sent for her family through the web at www.gayandciha.com. Gay and Ciha Funeral Service are caring for Margaret's family and her services.

Margaret (Hunget) McDonald was born Jan. 10, 1925 in Indianola, Iowa. She was a graduate of Spring Hill Consolidated School and Capitol City Business College in Des Moines. During World War II she ventured to Los Angeles and served as secretary to future US President Ronald Reagan who was a captain in the US Air Force stationed in California. After the war she returned to Iowa where she attended the University of Iowa and met the love of her life and husband of 62 years, James (Jim) McDonald. The couple settled in Cherokee, and Margaret became actively involved in politics during Jim's successful campaign for Cherokee County Attorney. In 1966 she managed Wiley Mayne's successful campaign for U.S. congress and later she was elected County Republican Party co-chair, a position she held until 1970. In 1970 Margaret was then elected co-chair of the 6th Congressional District of the state republican party and became a member of the State Central Committee of the Republican Party. From 1973-1980 she served as co-chair of the State Republican party. In 1980 she was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in Detroit and chaired the 1980 state convention in Cedar Rapids. From 1981-1987 she served on the Iowa Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Development Disabilities Commission and was chair during part of her tenure. She was a Dole delegate to the 1988 RNC. Margaret continued to support and contribute immensely to her republican favorites for the rest of her life.

Margaret and Jim are the parents of Bruce of Keokuk, and Molly and Amy, both of Minneapolis. Other family includes daughter-in-law, Judy; grandchildren, James, Julie, Molly and Matthew; her sisters, Marilyn and Jan; brother, Phil; and brother-in-law John and his wife Patricia.

Her love of the arts was central to her character and inspired her to share that appreciation with others. She had a deep compassion for the human experience, which had a positive impact on those of us who loved her.

The family's deepest appreciation goes out to the Solon Nursing Care Facility and any memorials may be directed there.