Share Your Memory of
Obituary of Virginia Theresa Johnson McDonald
Virginia McDonald went home to the Lord on Thursday, February 21st from Atlantic Shores Nursing & Rehab Center in Melbourne, Florida. She is survived by her husband, James, her three children, Tom, Theresa, and Bill and their spouses Dave and Jennifer, her three grandchildren, Lucy, David, and Christopher, and her sister, Dorothy. She had two nieces and a nephew. On December 7th, 1935, Virginia Theresa Johnson was born the first of three daughters to Dr. Charles and Theresa Johnson at Pressmen’s Home, Tennessee. From the onset, her prospects did not appear favorable for survival due to her premature size (her father held her in one hand following her birth). However, much to the amazement of doctors she beat the odds as a result of the special care she received from her mother, a pediatric nurse. She spent her childhood in Rogersville with her two sisters, Dorothy and Patsy and their pet dog, Bel Rae. Growing up, she developed a passion for music, learning the piano and trumpet and singing as well. She graduated from Rogersville High School in 1954 and the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in Education in 1959 and a Master of Education in 1960. Virginia married James Cameron McDonald on June 16th, 1963 at a small church in Key West and they lived in Eau Gallie for five years. They built a house in Melbourne Village and in the summer of 1968, they moved in, a little more than a year after the birth of their first child, Tom. Virginia loved nature, and Melbourne Village, with its gorgeous hammock, nature trails, and quiet streets, would be the perfect place to raise a family. She had two more children, Theresa and Bill, and many pets over the years as well. Virginia used her musical talents to teach piano at home in the evenings, but as jobs go, nothing could be more important than the job of “mom”. She made breakfast, watched for the school bus, helped with homework at night, made sure her kids were home before dark, and in times of need, was the very best shoulder to cry on. Even the family pets received deluxe treatment, such as the many times she chased after Rex the Boxer, who, upon capture, would be rewarded with a ride around the block in the family car. There were also those countless adventures to find Blacky the cat, who would sneak out of the house at night and keep her up worrying. Virginia had many favorites: her favorite dog breed was Boxer, her favorite color was green, her favorite Florida attraction was Cypress Gardens, and her favorite historical figure of the 20th century was Winston Churchill. She loved musicals and big band, symphonies and hymns, and Handel’s “Messiah”. She liked mysteries and comedies, and her favorite television shows included “Remington Steele”, “Murder, She Wrote”, and “Babylon 5”. Virginia’s love for history, the Bible, and current events made her a wellspring of knowledge. Most important of all was her love for Christ. She echoed Christ’s admonition, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” to remind those around her of the importance of salvation and the brevity of life. Her steadfast beliefs made a profound impact on her family and friends, and she will be greatly missed: beloved wife, mom, granny, sister, and friend. A memorial service will be held at Community Bible Church at 91 Emerson Drive in Palm Bay on Thursday, February 28th at 4:00 p.m. The burial will take place on Friday, March 1st at Cape Canaveral National Cemetery in Mims, FL at 11:00 a.m.