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Edna Margaret (Peggy) Grimes Macdonald

(June 1st, 2018)

Edna Margaret (Peggy) Grimes Macdonald

Edna Margaret (Peggy) Grimes Macdonald was born August 6, 1927 the youngest daughter of Robert Alonzo and Janet Bell Grimes in Revelstoke, British Columbia, Canada.  She passed away May 28, 2018 at her residence, Birchwood, in Bozeman, Montana.

The daughter of a mining engineer/attorney and a Registered Nurse, who instilled in her a love of learning, Peggy was always an outstanding student. This was particularly true in music and the hard sciences, especially chemistry. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of British Columbia and embarked on a teaching career. After teaching a few years she met Don Macdonald of Bozeman, Montana at her best friend’s wedding where she was Maid of Honor and he was Best Man. Just one year later they married at St Andrews by the Lake in Nelson, B.C. She became an American citizen through naturalization in the late 1950s.

After living for a time in Yakima, Washington, Don and Peg moved to Bozeman and eventually to Billings where Don owned and developed Hustad Implement and subsequently, Subaru of Billings. They had three children and once they were all in school, Peggy attended Eastern Montana College and completed the requirements to earn a Montana teaching certificate. She graduated Summa cum Laude and was offered a fellowship for her Master’s degree in Education specializing in Special Education. Again, she completed her degree with Highest Honors.  Thus, began a life committed to the best possible education for hundreds of lucky Montana children. Peg gave her life to the children of Garfield Elementary for several years and then moved to Meadowlark and Arrowhead elementary schools where she taught first grade, until she moved to second grade her final year prior to retirement. She always joked she had finally been promoted.

Peg and Don, along with other parents and great legal assistance fought for full rights for the disabled. They pressed for inclusion of the disabled in the regular school programs and worked hard to establish the sheltered workshop in Billings. Additionally, she served many terms on the Montana Board of Vocational Rehabilitation and various boards involved in aspects of special education statewide.

Retirement to the “mountain pasture” north of Bozeman, in a home designed and largely built by Don and Peg, was an opportunity for her to become very involved in the American Association of University Women, Delta Kappa Gamma, St James Altar Guild and programs at the Museum of the Rockies. Their spare time was filled with enjoying the garden, the mountains, cross country skiing and especially for Peggy, travel to faraway places with her sister, Betsy. Her great uncle, Dr Joseph Bell, was the model for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “Sherlock Holmes” a fact that turned out to be true!  Her love of mysteries had a basis in genetics!



A move to Aspen Pointe helped Peggy cope with Don’s passing in 2003.  She enjoyed water exercise, trips, movies and current events discussions with her friends and neighbors. In 2017 she found life at Birchwood suited her better and settled in to her cozy apartment with help from the professional and attentive staff. She enjoyed the many activities offered on-site. 


Bozeman Health Hospice had eased the transition for Don, so in early 2018 Peggy turned to them again for help. And again, these amazing folks eased the way forward.


Peggy is survived by her three children: Angus Macdonald, Robert (Joan) Macdonald and Jocelyn (Mike) Barker all of Bozeman; four grandchildren: Abbie (Fred) Sorensen, Callie Barker, Kaitlin Macdonald and Ian Macdonald M.D. and two great-grandchildren: Amelia Sorensen and Frederick Sorensen.


Donations to the worthy group of your choice are encouraged. Services will be held at St James Episcopal Church in Bozeman and are scheduled for Monday June 4 at 2:00pm.



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