Gene Loree MacDonald, a retired Baltimore County educator who was active in the Timonium United Methodist Church, died Friday of a brain tumor at her Cockeysville home. She was 66.
Mrs. MacDonald, who had started her teaching career in Michigan, was one of the original faculty members at Warren Elementary School, where she taught kindergarten for 25 years before retiring in 1996.
"She had such a love for children, and she was exactly what they needed at that age," said Pat Harman, a first-grade teacher at the school and Cockeysville resident.
Born Gene Loree Richardson in Pensacola, Fla., she was raised in Battle Creek, Mich., where she graduated from high school.
She received her bachelor's degree in education in 1955 from Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pa., and a master's degree in early childhood education from what was then Towson State College in 1972.
She was married in 1955 to the Rev. Kenneth MacDonald Jr., a Methodist minister, who survives her.
Mrs. MacDonald, who assisted her husband in his ministry, was Sunday school superintendent, sang alto in choirs and was a member of handbell choirs.
"Our lives have always been around the church," said Rev. MacDonald. "One of her favorite hymns on the handbells was 'Because He Lives for Me,'" he said.
"One of the things she brought to church was a deep personal faith and an ability to express it in a very genuine way. She never put on airs, and there was no pretense about her," said the Rev. Fred Crider, pastor of Timonium United Methodist Church.
Services were held Monday at Timonium United Methodist Church.
In addition to her husband, she is survived by three sons, Kenneth MacDonald III, Paul MacDonald and Eugene MacDonald, all of Cockeysville; two daughters, Judith Kim of Ellicott City and Michele Liberty of Lorton, Va.; a sister, Nancy Siler of Tavares, Fla.; and seven grandchildren.