MCDONALD, Frances Ellen - August 7, 1970 - May 26, 2020 - Fran passed away peacefully surrounded by love following an almost three-year struggle against cancer.
Fran is survived by her husband Jay Howard, children Christopher, Andrew and Erin, siblings Sarah and Heather, and lots of loving aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews and nieces.
Her beloved parents Bruce and Eleanor predeceased her.
Fran understood people. She thrived, both professionally and personally, with the rare instinct of understanding people’s motivations and hopes, their reactions and their inner thoughts, and their unique personal puzzles that make up spirit. Fran worked in increasingly senior roles in Human Resources across a diverse group of companies including Rogers, TD Canada Trust, Manulife, Ontario Lottery and Gaming, and most recently Canadian Tire. She was a student and also a role model of human character, never shy to recognize an injustice or to identify empathy and common sense.
She loved her family. Her affinity with her extended McDonald clan knew no bounds, and she relished the opportunity to rekindle intimate conversations with distant relatives. At her beloved Mazinaw Lake, she would paddleboard from cottage to cottage, stopping at every one to catch up on the neighbour’s news of the day.
Most dearly, she cherished her kids. With the constant guideposts of honesty, compassion and respect, she instilled the mantra W2M2D, What Would My Mommy Do, as their defining question for all personal challenges. She enjoyed participating in their activities, whether creating teams for their neighbourhood soccer league, baking relentlessly for school fundraisers, ferrying them around the province and country for athletic events, and watching in amazement while cheering from the side even though she frequently didn’t understand the sport. She created strong and fiercely loving children who will carry her spirit forever.
Though we would have paid any ransom, any price in the world, the disease would not let go of her until she was gone. Throughout her battle against cancer, she maintained positivity and courage, never losing her focus on family and friends. She did not fear death; she was looking forward to playing cards with her parents and having a great sing-along with her lost relatives.
The family gratefully thanks her many dedicated doctors and nurses for the excellent care they provided.
If desired, donations in Fran’s remembrance are encouraged to Churches on-the-Hill Food Bank, cothfoodbank.ca, one of the many organizations where Fran volunteered.
A private service will be held for family with a larger gathering to follow once current restrictions are lifted.