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March 29, 2020

Janet McDonald … dedication to family, education, community marked life of 77-year old Lake City woman.


Gunnison native Janet Miller McDonald, 77, who died as the result of a massive stroke last Sunday afternoon, October 21, 2017, graduated from high school in Gunnison in 1958 and following marriage to Walter “Bud” McDonald, spent her entire married life — over 58 years — in Lake City.
In the process she and Bud raised a family of three sons and a daughter while Janet also successfully juggled commuting to Western State College to obtain degrees in teaching and accounting, and held down a succession of three careers in clerical and accounting work with the U.S. Forest Service, Town of Lake City, and First National Bank of Lake City.
It was a plentiful life, evidenced early this week as Bud and family members sat around the dining room table in the family’s Wade’s Addition home. Walls in the home are filled with a colorful collection of animal mounts from past hunts and dozens of framed photographs reflecting McDonald family life over the past half-century.
Bud elicits laughter from his elder sons, Harry and George, in recalling his work as an early lessee of Redcloud Ranch on the upper Lake Fork and recollections of a menagerie of family horses and dogs, recalling each by name and particular attributes.
And then there were the hunting seasons when the family hosted hunters as part of their decades-old guiding and outfitting business. An integral part of that operation was Janet who despite 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. office hours at her downtown job, would be in the kitchen at 2:30 a.m. preparing a full breakfast of biscuits and gravy or perhaps pancakes with a side of eggs or sausage to send the hunters off on a full stomach.
After preparing and serving the early morning breakfast, she would prepare each of the hunters a sack lunch for their impending adventure. And then it was time to get ready for work.
Janet was in the kitchen in pre-daylight hours, a bowl of pancake batter on the counter, this past Sunday, October 21, when she collapsed after suffering a major brain aneurysm. Hinsdale sheriff’s office personnel and EMTs promptly responded, and, after CPR, she was airlifted to Montrose Memorial Hospital by helicopter.
She died in the hospital at 1:30 p.m. Sunday.
A central focus throughout her life was her family, her husband of 58 years, Bud McDonald, of Lake City, a daughter, Christine Mergleman, Limon, Colorado, and three sons, Harry McDonald, Montrose, George McDonald, rural Cheyenne Wells, Colorado, and John McDonald, Montrose.
A memorial service is planned in Lake City starting 1 p.m. on Friday, November 3, at Community Presbyterian Church. Pastor Paul Gifford of Florence, Colorado, will officiate.
Memorial donations are suggested to the American Cancer Society or, locally, Lake City Community Choir, care of Community Presbyterian Church.

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