We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at F. S. Roberts & Son Funeral Home and Cremation Service
Frances Charlotte MacDonald passed away peacefully at her home in Beverly, Mass., on June 10, 2022,
at the age of 95. Born on December 27, 1926, to Josephine and Charles Foley, she grew up in Rowley,
Mass., and graduated from Newburyport High School.
As a child, Frances was a bit of a tomboy, rather mischievous and quite adventurous. Among other
things, she loved ice skating, ballroom dancing and, despite her fair complexion, going to the beach.
Most of all, she loved her family and had a very generous heart. She recalled that, during the Great
Depression, families like hers, of little means themselves, made it a point to share their food with less
Frances met Gerald (Jerry) MacDonald, the handsome son of Rowley’s Baptist minister at the time,
when he came to Rowley to visit his parents. Jerry served in the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II.
He and Frances were married in Rowley in July 1949. In 1952, they left their Dorchester, Mass.,
apartment to become homeowners in Beverly, where they lived the rest of their lives, first in the Cove
and then in North Beverly.
When their children were young, Frances was a stay-at-home Mom actively engaged in their lives,
whether leading her daughter’s Brownie troop or organizing games and activities in the backyard for the
kids after school. She also believed in the importance of education. Her daughter recalls the many times
her mother quizzed her on all subjects to prepare her for tests at school.
Her love of family was demonstrated in many ways—visiting her parents regularly in Rowley, along with
her siblings and their children, and hosting holiday dinners and other celebrations (Thanksgiving,
Christmas, New Year’s, birthdays), where she expressed her love in the food she served (such as her
homemade lasagna and meatballs, and the preferred desserts of her guests). When her older child was
preparing to go away to college, Frances began working the night shift at the Internal Revenue Service in
North Andover, Mass., as a keypunch operator, a job she held for many years. She eventually retired
from the IRS.
Her Catholic faith was very important to her. In Beverly, she was a parishioner first at St. Mary’s Star of
the Sea Church and later at St. John the Evangelist Church. Her favorite place to visit was Hawaii, in
particular, the island of Maui, which she called “Paradise on earth.” She also enjoyed car trips with her
husband and family, particularly along the shore—whether nearby to Rockport, Mass., or as far as
Nubble Light in York, Maine. She loved talking with family and friends over a good cup of tea. Her
favorite sport to watch was hockey and she was a big fan of the Boston Bruins. Over the years, she had
many favorite players. She and her husband used to see one of them, Terry O’Reilly, from time to time
when they went to eat at the Rowley Diner. Frances and Jerry had been married more than 72 years
when he passed away on December 10, 2021, at the age of 97.
Frances’s great sense of humor, boundless love, and giving nature will be greatly missed by all who knew
her. She is survived by her daughter, Constance; her son, Glenn, and daughter-in-law, Caroline; two
grandchildren, Catherine (MacDonald) Burns and Colin MacDonald; a great-granddaughter, Ainsley
Burns; and a number of nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her older sister, Constance
(Foley) Kamieneski, and her younger brothers, Roger and Charles (Brud) Foley.
At the request of the family, all services are private. Arrangements entrusted to F. S. Roberts & Son Funeral Home of Rowley. To light a memorial candle or to leave a message of condolence, please visit https://www.fsrobertsandson.com/obituary/Frances-MacDonald.
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