Saundra Carter McDonald
Saundra Carter McDonald, age 75, beloved wife, sister, mother and grandmother entered her eternal home on April 8, 2018. She began this earthly life at home in Green Forest, Arkansas on Oct 3, 1942, the fourth daughter of Samuel (aka Sherman) Harold and Thelma O’Dell Carter. She spent her childhood in Northwest Arkansas, graduating from Mountain Home High School as valedictorian at the age of 15. She continued her formal education by attending the University of Arkansas where she made Phi Beta Kappa. She was the first woman from Arkansas to enter the Peace Corps in 1962 and spent her service in Brazil, blessing the lives of many, including Ademar Nuessner and Jaime Trentini whom later came to the U.S to live with her parents. While in Brazil, she joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and wrote to her college sweetheart about her conversion. Unbeknownst to Saundra, he had also found the church and written to her about his desire to know more, and their letters crossed in the mail. Upon returning home from Brazil, she married her best friend and eternal companion, Robert Dale McDonald on Nov 28, 1964.
Saundra was a gifted teacher by profession and by nature. She was a lifelong learner, and was constantly seeking after knowledge. She began her teaching career as a high school teacher but spent the majority of her time teaching in the JCC community, as both an early childhood educator and then as a teacher with the McGillis School, with much of this time spent in 3rd grade. She was an integral part in founding the McGillis School and was the very first teacher employed as this school began. She loved each of her students and they felt her love.
She was a devoted member of her church and served in numerous church callings throughout her adult life. Her lifelong desire to serve a mission was first fulfilled in 2007 where she served with her husband in the Inner City Harvard Ward. In 2013, their second mission to the North Carolina Raleigh Mission brought them back to Camp LeJeune where they lived as newlyweds 50 years prior. Saundra and her husband Robert loved the service men and women they met as well as the missionaries they served alongside.
Saundra taught each of her 5 children and 19 grandchildren the importance of education. Whether formal or informal, each has continued to grow and learn, never satisfied with status quo. Her legacy of love and her quest for knowledge continues to live on.
She is survived by her loving husband, Robert McDonald, two biological sisters: Joyce Carter of Mission, Kansas, Carol Carter of Toronto, Ontario, Siblings by choice: Nicole Boursier, Ademar Nuessner (Jimmie Lou), Jaime Trentini (Ana), 5 children: Mike McDonald (Amy Levine), Mark McDonald (Holli), Nicole Ranck (Russell), Kristy Webb, Shannon Moss (Trenton), 19 grandchildren: Zachary Ranck (Tai), McKenzie Steele (Aaron), Jeremy Ranck, Kayli Maxfield (Eli), McKinnley McDonald, Jayden Moss, Marcus Evers, Tyler Ranck, Gabriel Webb, Kennedy McDonald, Jack McDonald, Coleman Moss, McCoy Evers, Kate McDonald, Caroline McDonald, Mitchell Evers, Chloe Moss, Annabelle Moss and Tayden Ranck and many other friends and family. She will be dearly missed by all.
Preceded in death by her parents and older sister, Irene Carter Hayden.
We as her children would like to express our love and appreciation to our devoted father who was so tender to our mother and showered her with love, care and patience. He is a source of strength to each of us. We love you Dad!
Funeral services will be held April 17, 2018 at 11:00 am at the Olympus 2nd Ward LDS Chapel, 3070 East Nila Way in Holladay, Utah.
Friends may visit with our family at the chapel on Monday, April 16, 2018 between the hours of 6:00 – 8:00 pm and before the service from 10:00 – 11:00 am. Interment will take place at the Holladay Memorial Cemetery.