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Linda Lou (Arsenault) McDonald

July 22, 1946 November 8, 2019
Linda Lou (Arsenault) McDonald
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Obituary for Linda Lou (Arsenault) McDonald
Swanton - Linda was born to Alfred “PeeWee” Joseph and Lillian “Toon” Claudia Arsenault on July 22, 1946 in Tupper Lake, NY. She grew up in Saint Albans, VT, with her parents and three brothers, Ralph, Allan and Ross. Linda attended catholic school in her earlier childhood and then BFA, St. Albans.

Little did she did know how her life would change when she started working at Gladstone’s Shoe store where she met the charming executive, Gordon McDonald. They worked side by side and that relationship grew into a lifelong romance that never dimmed.

They purchased their first home in Underhill, VT where they lived with their precious three sons, James (Jim), Stephen (Steve) and Johnathan (John) until 1984 when they bought their dream home in Swanton, VT. This home was love at first site for the both of them, and they knew this is where they wanted to spend the rest of their lives (and indeed they did). Multiple generations of family lived in the home at the same time, which only added to the wonderful family memories we all share. Family was everything to Mom and Dad. Holiday get-togethers were Mom’s favorite. She always wanted her home decorated and filled with aromas of cooking, sounds of laughter and expressions of love. She extended her home to those who needed a safe place to stay, a hot meal or love from a wonderful mother. Most any holiday there was a wayward soul at dinner who had no place else to go.

Mom and Dad were soul mates and best friends. It takes a special relationship to work side by side for 30 years which they did when they owned and operated both the Federal Establishment and Howards The Flower Shop, both in St. Albans, VT. The businesses were a family affair, as all three boys were instilled with hard-work ethics while working at them both. Mom and Dad often sacrificed their own wants and needs in order to ensure Jim, Steve and John had everything they needed to grow into good, educated and kind men.

Mom especially loved buying and selling antiques. One of her favorite places to go was the Brimfield, Mass. Antique Show with her best friend, Annette. Mom and Annette made countless trips in the “infamous” motorhome packed with items to sell. Looking like the “Clampetts” on the move. Mom was a pro-negotiator and never paid full price for anything. In addition to the love and respect of antiques, the preservation of history was extremely important to her. History was not just reserved for yard sale discoveries or garage sale archeological finds, it was woven into their home. She was always on the hunt for items to be displayed in Steve’s museum.

Mom loved to cook and bake goodies to share with everyone. You couldn’t pass up a piece of her chocolate pie or her gingersnap cookies. Her signature gravy & sliders, homemade scalloped potatoes or a simple fried cube-steak dinner will never be forgotten.

Mom grew up in a musical family. When John decided to pursue music, she and dad could only sit back and enjoy all the noise, which eventually turned to music, which filled the home regularly. Mom always wanted music to fill the home. Her favorite was Janis Joplin.

After Mom and Dad sold the flower shop and “retired”, Dad became a full time real estate agent and Mom worked on restoration of their home. Dad passed away on February 10, 2001, leaving a hole in all of our hearts. For Mom it was a hole that could never be filled by anyone else. Mom still never gave up. From that point on, she dedicated more of herself and heart to her home, sons, her family and others in need. She remained strong and determined to take care of them all. She lovingly poured herself into her children’s lives and helping her brother Ross in the family business.

At some point she began her love affair with Nascar and Dale Earnhart Jr. She planned her Sundays around watching the races with her son John. As long as Kyle Busch, “that little prick,” didn’t win, it was a good race.

In 2006, John and Jennie took over the family home and shared it with Mom and Jim. Mom gave countless words of wisdom and advice to her daughter-in-law. They understood each other in a way that gave equal respect and reciprocity, as long as Mom had the final say in the kitchen.

Jim and Mom would spend countless evenings discussing lawn and plant care and what was next on Mom’s dinner menu for them both. They had family dinners in front of the TV watching SVU or Hallmark channel. They also kept each other company when the evenings grew quiet.

Mom was not one to sit still or have idle hands. In her off time she worked on her dollhouses, quilting, and collecting costume jewelry. She also was a fixture at The Beverage Mart. She was well known for her tenacity, toughness and advice for all who worked along-side of her. This included her “customer service”, if you can give it, she could give it right back. The Lillian (our Grandmother) would come out in her, and her brothers would say, “She is her mother’s daughter.”

Mom always ended her visits, phone calls or conversations with “I love you”. You knew she meant it to the very core of her being.

Mom finally fully retired in June of 2018. She kept busy with her many trips to Plattsburgh, NY with her friend Alaina. In addition, Mom was regularly taken to dinner by Ross and Shelley. She also supported and attended music events featuring John and Jennie.

We cannot forget Mom’s faithful dogs who kept her company and watched all her favorite blood and guts movies, as many times as she wanted without any complaints. LT, Tansy, Duke and Huckleberry Hound (Huck) were her amazing companions, especially Huck. He was there and remained with her during her final ascent to be with Dad.

On the evening of November 8, 2019, Mom laid her head for her final rest to be with Dad. Her greatest wish was to be reunited with him. Lord hath granted.

Mom is survived by her son Jim, son Steve and his partner Heather Laing, son John and his wife Jennie. She is also survived by her brothers Ross Arsenault and his wife, Shelley, her brother Allan Arsenault, her brother Ralph Arsenault and his wife Karen, her “adopted” son Steve Ladd and his wife Lindsay and Mom’s “grandchildren” Jeffory & Jaxson, multiple nieces and nephews, and her faithful best friend, Huck.

This is only a small portion of what Mom meant to us all. We hope you will join us with your memories at her Celebration of Life on November 15, 2019. It will be held at the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church Parish Hall in Swanton, VT, from 4pm-7pm. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to All Breed Rescue, 491 Industrial Avenue, Williston, VT 05495.

Mom we love you.
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Previous Events

Celebration of Life




4:00 PM 11/15/2019 4:00:00 PM - 7:00 PM 11/15/2019 7:00:00 PM
Holy Trinity Episcopal Church,

Parish Hall,
38 Grand Avenue,
Swanton,, VT 05488

Holy Trinity Episcopal Church,
Parish Hall, Swanton, 05488 VT
United States

Memorial Contribution

All Breed Rescue, 491 Industrial Avenue, Williston, Vermont 05495


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