Obituaries » Sophia Duffield McDonald

Sophia Duffield McDonald

06/19/1926 - 05/16/2017

Burial Date: 05/22/2017

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Sophia McDonald, age 90, of Muscatine, Iowa, died May 16, 2017 at Manor Care Nursing Home in Davenport, Iowa. Funeral services will be held on Monday, May 22, 2017, at 10:30 a.m. the Geo. M. Wittich-Lewis Home for Funeral and Cremation Services. Burial will be in the Muscatine Memorial Park Cemetery. Following the burial, a time of food and fellowship will be held at the Geo. M. Wittich-Lewis Community Room. Visitation will be held on Sunday, May 21, 2017, from 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at the funeral home. A memorial fund has been established at the funeral home in memory of Sophia. Sympathy notes may be left for the family at

She was born June 19, 1926, to Ruby (Atkins) and Harry Duffield in Muscatine, Iowa. She married naval serviceman, Herbert McDonald, in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, on December 21, 1942, while he was serving at the Submarine Chaser Training Center in Miami, Florida. Staying close to her husband while he was often stationed at sea, they lived briefly in San Francisco, California, as well as New Orleans, Louisiana. They had a daughter and three sons: Susan (McDonald) and Jack Bauswell of Peru, Illinois; Jim McDonald of Lauderdale Lakes, Florida; Marshall McDonald of Muscatine, Iowa; and Brad McDonald and Harry Oder of Chamblee, Georgia. The sudden, early death of her husband in 1966 left her to raise her children alone, the youngest only 2 years old. A lifelong beautician she maintained her beauty shop in her home in Rock Island, Illinois, until she retired in 1992 and moved to Hershey Manor in Muscatine, Iowa, to be near her mother and sister. Sophia was a member of AL-ANON for 25 years and the American Legion Auxiliary for over 50 years.

She was the oldest of a large and loving family. A musical group, their reunions are noisy with singing, playing instruments, and dancing. And family gatherings are always rich with food and fun. She has four sisters: Donna Lentocha of Muscatine, Iowa; Velma and Jim Graham of Moline, Illinois; Lillian Proffitt of Hermitage, Missouri (preceded her in death in 2016); and Lorinda Schmelzer of Muscatine, Iowa. In addition she has two brothers: Harold (Buzzy) ad Tommie Duffield of Ingleside, Texas; and Myles and Pat Duffield of Clovis, New Mexico. She also has many, many loving nieces and nephews, one of whom preceded her in death, Steve Duffield, in 2010.

She thoroughly enjoyed her four grandchildren, Shane McDonald of Marietta, Georgia; Erika (McDonald) and Dr. John Marc Chandonia of San Francisco, California; Gina (Bauswell) and Anthony Bielski of Eldridge, Iowa; and Justin and Brook McDonald of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. One infant grandson, Lance McDonald, preceded her in death on February 5, 1971. Stricken with macular degeneration, she couldn’t see them very well, but she enjoyed hugging and listening to the laughter of her great-grandchildren, Amy 8 and Helen 6 Chandonia of San Francisco, California; Ellio 6 and Zoey 4 McDonald of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and Jackson 5 and Zeke 2 Bielski of Eldridge, Iowa.

Even though she was stricken with macular degeneration early in life, which meant she couldn’t continue to do those things she enjoyed like traveling and reading and even watching TV, she listened to music and enjoyed visitors and never complained. She simply counted her blessing snd found pride and joy in how well her children and their families are doing. Her frequent advice to others was “to put it in God’s hands.”

She was also stricken with Non Hodgkins’s follicular lymphoma, which weakened her resistance to infection. Her positive approach to life helped her maintain until the complications of infection ended her life.

She had a warm and welcoming smile that always lit up the room. Her family and friends will miss her and always cherish not only the memory of that smile and loving spirit, but her guiding example of how to live fully in the moment and make each day count.