Service Date: 03/13/2018 at 10:30 AM
Location:Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Church
10:30 Rosary followed by 11AM Mass and Reception
My Mother Greta Naydine McDonough
By her #5
Mom grew up in Southern California. She was the one and only child of Earl and Carolyn Jones. She was not happy being an only child, maybe that’s why she said she would not ever wish that on her worst enemy. Her parents divorced when mom was 12, she was sad but she knew her parents were happier apart and she always knew they both loved her very much.
Mom had an aunt that wanted so much to raise her as her own. She and her husband were childless but were quite wealthy. Her mom asked her one day if she would be happier to be raised by her Aunt. With tears in her eyes mom told her mom “I love my aunt, but she is not my mom”. So, her mom struggled as a single parent to raise her. There was boarding school that she was sent to and then graduating from LAGUNA Beach High School class of 1949.
Mom worked as an elevator operator then worked for the telephone company. She was proud to say she made her own money and she bought her very own car. Being a California girl, of course it was a Pontiac convertible.
She loved the beach, and she spent countless hours there. Her mom had a place overlooking Laguna Beach which is where she stayed when she lived with her mom.
Mom met and married the man of her dreams, Marine Sgt. James A. McDonough on April 18, 1953 (She was looking forward to celebrating their 65th year wedding anniversary this year). It was just a fluke that dad and mom ever met to begin with. I call it divine intervention or a strong case of Catholic guilt. Here is the story, you decide….
Dad being a marine (the macho type) was happy go lucky with a 3 day pass ready to take on the world with a pocket full of money and eager to go see the babes in Vegas. Dad arrived at the crossroads of route 66 where the sign stated 143 miles to the babes in Vegas or 143 miles to Los Angeles. Dad’s grandma (getting up in years) was in LA. Do you see the babes? or see poor old grandma? Of course, see the babes. But, not so fast, it bothered him, the Catholic guilt voice inside him said you better go see grandma, and he did. That is where he was received by a house full of relatives, many he never met before, but with his best interest in mind, they said, “Hey Jim, you want to meet a real looker”? Of course, he said yes, and the real looker was my mother.
Fast forward the courtship was fast, the wedding was quick and off to Barstow for their very first residence as husband and wife. Much too hot for dad, so when his stint was up with the marine corps off to Tacoma, WA they went for their new adventures and to very quickly start their family.
Their children started arriving in 1955 with James Anthony McDonough Jr, then in 1956 Michael John McDonough (Joni), then 1957 Carol Marie Jones (Bill), and finally in 1958 twins Edward Earl McDonough and Elizabeth Elaine Hohn (Gary). Mom’s claim to fame was having 5 kids in 4 ½ years.
Mom and Dad decided to raise their children Catholic so the kids all went to Holy Rosary School. Mom faithfully attended church and made her comfort zone in the very last pew behind the pillar.
She was very involved with the parent’s club at the school and loved to organize the fundraisers and coach for any team that was looking for a coach. Basketball, volleyball and baseball… it didn’t matter that she had no children on the team, she did what needed to be done.
She also became Jim and Mike’s cub scout leader when there was a need. Brothers Darnell and Mike Factory wanted to join the neighborhood troop but could not because they were a darker skin color, so Mom again took this on. Thus, she helped establish the first ever boy scout/cub scout troop at McCord Air Force base.
Mom supported her kid’s accomplishments whatever they did. She was so proud of each and everyone of her children as different as they all are, like night and day. She kept busy with the fun things, gardening, knitting, shopping, playing with her dog, being dad’s partner in crime in what ever they chose to do, fishing, shrimping, concrete mixing at hood canal and just spending time together.
After retiring as a police wife in the late 70’s, she enjoyed spending time at their property on Hood Canal. Her kids started to get married then the grandkids started coming, 11 grandchildren in 11 years, James III, Amanda, Justin, Jonathan, Larry, Nathalie, Alana, Gary, Cory, Matthew, and Julia.
She took care of both her mom and her mother-in-law in their late years. There was always Sunday brunches after church that all kids and grandkids were invited to, and just being the cool grandma that everyone wanted to hang out with.
As years went by she kept busy remembering the birthdays of all her 13 great grandchildren. She tried very hard to remember each and every one of them on their special day: AJ, Chloe, Alyssa, Zack, Gary (Bubba), Bailin, Logan (Hubba-Bubba), Audrey, Carlin, Makayla, Kian, Kellen and Lucy. She even had bonus grands Elton and Jeremy Lithicum and bonus great grands Michael, Miracle and Marcus Lithicum that she welcomed as her own.
The last 12 years she had struggled with health problems, there were falls, hospital visits, rehab, more broken bones and finally ended up at Pioneer Place Memory Haven. This is where she resided when she passed away. She received wonderful care there and was always treated with dignity and respect. The family would like to thank all the staff at Pioneer Place for their wonderful care. The family would also like to thank hospice for their special care at the end of mom’s life. Mom was visited each and everyday by her family. With her struggles she remained happy and strong in her faith. Our family would like to also thank Fr. John Wilkie and the parishioners of Our Lady Queen of Heaven for all the prayers and support.