Sunnyside mourns death of Gertrude McDonald

Elected officials representing Sunnyside paid tribute to Gertrude McDonald, a longtime community leader and pioneer for women in politics.

She died at age 100 on Sunday, May 21.

McDonald was the first woman to run for the state Assembly from Queens. She was a Democratic district leader, a member of the Anoroc Democratic Club, past president of the 108 Precinct Community Council, member of Community Board 2, member of United Forties Civic Association and a member of Sunnyside Community Services.

“Gert McDonald was a kind and loving woman who made a difference not only in Sunnyside, but throughout Queens,” said State Senator Michael Gianaris. “As the first woman to run for elective office in Queens County, she opened doors for hundreds of women, granting them additional opportunities to serve the public.”

“At the age of 100, she was still a strong leader and gracious friend to many,” he added. “May her memory be eternal and always hold a special place in our borough.”

Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan called her a “wonderful community-minded person” who wanted to make Sunnyside and western Queens a better place.

“She paved the way for many women elected officials like myself to be more active in government,” Nolan said. “For these accomplishments and many more, she will be truly missed.”

Here’s the rest of her obituary, courtesy of the Edward D. Lynch Funeral Home:

Gertrude McDonald (nee Anderson), age 100, died suddenly Sunday, May 21, 2017 at Forest Hills Hospital. Gertrude was born August 8, 1916 in New York City. She was a longtime and devoted member of St. Raphael’s Parish in LIC, lifelong Community Activist, longtime Democratic District Leader, a member of the Anoroc Democratic Club since the age of 18, the first woman to run for NYS Assembly from Queens County, Past President of the 108 Precinct Community Council, Past Executive Member of the Community Board #2, Member of Sunnyside Community Services and a Member of the United Forties, just to name a few of the organizations she was passionate about.

Gert was predeceased by her beloved Scotty. Loving mother of Eileen Auld and her husband Tom and the late Robert. Dear mother-in-law of Fran Feeney McDonald. Cherished grandmother of Eileen Anne Arabian, Therese Harte, Danielle Fleming, Jacqueline Auld-Barszap, Robert McDonald, Kerry Crosby and Kimberly McGovern. Dear great-grandmother of 16 great grandchildren.

Visitation will be Wednesday, May 24 from 2-5PM and 7-9PM and Thursday, May 25 from 2-5PM and 7-9PM at Edward D. Lynch Funeral Home, Inc, 43-07 Queens Boulevard, Sunnyside, NY.

A Funeral Mass will be held 10:30 am on Friday, May 26, 2017 at St. Teresa RCC, 44th Street and 50th Avenue, Woodside, NY. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery, Woodside following the Mass.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations in Gert’s Memory to The New York Women’s Foundation, 39 Broadway, Suite 2300, New York, NY 10006 https://www.nywf.org.

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