Mary Falls Peele McDonald



Mrs. Mary Falls Peele McDonald, age 96 of Laurinburg, passed away in her home at Scotia Village on Tuesday, February 20, 2018.

Mary was a daughter of the late Luther Martin Peele, Sr., and Mary Susanna Falls Peele. She was born November 19, 1921 in Laurel Hill, North Carolina. She graduated from Gibson High School in the class of 1938 and earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Home Economics from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1942. She later continued with her education earning a Master of Science in Home Economics focusing on Nutrition and Education in 1978 at Hunter College in New York.

In 1944, Mary married her devoted husband, James Norman McDonald, Sr., from Laurinburg. They resided in Larchmont, New York, where they lovingly raised their family together until his death in 1969. They were faithful members of the Larchmont Avenue Presbyterian Church where Mary served over 53 years in various capacities, including Sunday School Teacher, Superintendent of Christian Education, Chairperson of numerous committees, Elder, Trustee, Commissioner to the Presbytery and Clerk of Session.

Mary enjoyed her work for the Westchester County Department of Social Services as a Home Economist / Social Worker from 1973 until 1979. For 11 years, she was appointed by the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences as a Non-Governmental Organization member to the United Nations where she contributed to the Youth Committee, Peace University Committee and Nutrition Committee through UNICEF. From 1988 until 1994 she was Appointed Human Rights Commissioner for the Town of Mamaroneck, NY and chaired the Children’s Committee, a sub-committee of the Forum on Homelessness.

During her career and in outstanding service to her community, Mary was honored with many awards including the New York State Home Economics Spotlight Award, First Human Rights Award given from three municipalities honoring Martin Luther King, Jr., Community Service Award for the 40th Anniversary of the Junior League of Westchester on the Sound, Award from the Westchester County Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect, YWCA Spirit Award in White Plains, New York, and the Alumni Distinguished Services Award, UNC – Greensboro.

She moved to Laurinburg in 2012 where she enjoyed residing at Scotia Village. Mary, who forever will be missed, is a beloved mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister, aunt and friend to many.

Along with her parents, she is preceded in death by her husband, James McDonald, Sr., and son, James McDonald, Jr.; sister, Martha P. Brown and brother, Billy Peele.

Mary leaves behind her daughters, Martha Jakubiak McDonald (Arthur Jakubiak) of Harwinton, CT and Elizabeth McDonald Leaverton (Michael Leaverton) of Aurora, CO; sister, Adele Clark of Laurinburg, sister-in-law, Niley McDonald Carter of Huntsville, AL; her six grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.

The Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be at 11 AM on Saturday, February 24th, at Scotia Village conducted by Rev. Linda Nelson and Rev. Allen Winters. The family will receive friends following the service at Scotia Village.

Donations may be made to Larchmont Avenue Presbyterian Church, Larchmont, New York, or to Scotland Regional Hospice.