Beth Ann (Sorensen) McDonald, age 95, passed away peacefully January 9th, 2024 after having lived a life full of unique, interesting experiences, an abundance of joy, and surrounded by and well connected to family and countless friends.
Beth Ann was born on August 25th, 1928 in Salt Lake City, UT to Ethel Melville and Horace August Sorensen. The third of four children, Beth Ann and her siblings started life on Harvard Avenue before settling in East Millcreek at the family’s’ Edgemont Farm stables where her father’s well known Pioneer Village was established.
Beth Ann was an accomplished equestrian, winning blue ribbons with her prized horses, Miss Muffet and Tony Hytone.
She attended Granite High School, graduating in 1946, followed by studying at the University of Utah where she was a member of the Chi Omega sorority. Always popular, here, Beth Ann made many lifelong friends.
She met her future husband and co-conspirator in fun and gentle rebellion, Charles S. McDonald, while cruising State Street in high school. Charles joined the navy and was away on active service for two years until 1947. Beth Ann waited for her charismatic high school sweetheart to return. When asked how and when Charles proposed, Beth Ann would coyly say, “Oh, I don’t know… he was always asking me.” On December 20th, 1948 Beth Ann finally caved and married her forever best friend. A perfect match, they were together for 55 years until Charles passed in 2003.
In 1952, Beth Ann and Charles purchased their home on Memory Lane in Holladay, where they shared life next to some of the best neighbors anyone could hope for. Beth Ann lived here until she was 93 years old. This home set the scene for significant portions of Beth Ann’s story. Everything happened there: the raising of their three children, their cat named Damnit and their lab, Tar, your typical (or… maybe not so) lion leashed to the flag pole situation, free roaming peacocks and deer, followed eventually by grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and, of course, uncounted parties and gatherings. Those walls are witness to a life fully lived: the ups, the downs, and all the in-betweens.
In 1968, Beth Ann started working at her family’s renowned furniture store, South East Furniture, located in the heart of Sugarhouse, overseeing the patio department. When South East closed in 1982, Beth Ann, alongside her husband Charles, her son, Marc, and daughter-in-law, Sharon, opened Leisure Living, an outdoor furniture specialty shop located just next door.
Upon retirement, Beth Ann and Charles traveled extensively throughout the western states, Canada, Alaska, Mexico, and Costa Rica. She notably lit up whenever she spoke about the experiences they had on these trips and all the friends they made along the way. They were some of her favorite years.
As a member of the Cottonwood Club, Beth Ann participated in tennis, bridge and other extra-curricular activities. She enjoyed playing on a women’s bowling league. She loved watching and talking sports, particularly golf, tennis, and football. She was a night owl and liked to sleep in, a noted contrast to Charles’s early bird vibes. Beth Ann was interested in politics and current events. She was an avid bridge player, having many active groups she played with up until her final few days. She was always modest in talking about her winnings, but everyone knows, she flexed a skilled game.
Beth Ann was engaging and open-minded. She was kind, fun, reflective, a great conversationalist, and easy-going, yet determinedly independent until the end.
Beth Ann is preceded in death by her husband, Charles, her parents (affectionately called Tutu and Pop by family), brothers Stanford and Maynard, and sister Margery Cannon. She is survived by her daughters, Marcie McDonald (David Andrews), Ann (Brent) Northrup; son, Marc (Sharon) McDonald; grandchildren, Tony McDonald, Laura (TJ) Holderness, Michelle (Bill) McDonald-Ross, Jacque (Ryan) Ware, Charlie Andrews, Elizabeth Holland; and seven great-grandchildren.
Friends and family are invited to attend a celebration of life on Saturday, February 17th from 12-2 p.m. at Willow Creek Country Club: 8505 Willow Creek Drive, Sandy.
In lieu of flowers, friends may honor Beth Ann by sharing with the family a story or sentiment, big or small, about Beth Ann and how you see she made her mark on your life and our shared human experience.
It was a beautiful life.