Longtime Funeral Home Director Ronald McDonald Dies at Age 82

Ronald W. McDonald, 82, of Marienville, died Thursday, December 21, 2017 at Snyder Memorial Health Care Center in Marienville.

Born February 25, 1935 in Kane, PA, he was the son of the Cecil L. and Katherine E. Peterson Walter.  As a child he went to live with and was later adopted by his uncle and aunt, Nate and Kay Walter McDonald.

Mr. McDonald graduated from Marienville Schools in 1953.  He went on to attend Clarion State Teachers College (now Clarion University of Pennsylvania).  He then attended and graduated from the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science.

Mr. McDonald spent 62 years as a funeral director.  He did an internship at the Morrison Funeral Home in Oil City.  He then owned and operated the Ronald McDonald Funeral Home in Big Run for eight years.  He returned to Marienville in 1967 to take over the family funeral business.  In 1972, he built the new Ronald McDonald Funeral Home in Marienville.  He was known as a most gentle man, especially suited for the profession he grew into.

He was a member of the Presbyterian Church in Marienville.

On September 18, 1954, he married the former Molly Stewart; she preceded in death in 2004.  He married the former Linda Shartle Swartz on February 17, 2007 at the Marienville United Methodist Church; she survives and lives in Marienville.

Mr. McDonald and his wife, Molly, ran their bed and breakfast, Pioneer Lodge, for ten years.  His family hosted a number of international exchange students for many years.  He was a founding board member and later a member of MACA.  He and his wife, Molly, were the founders of the Marienville Minstrel Show.  He was a member of the North Forest Cemetery Board and a former member of the Tourism Board for Forest and Clarion counties.  He also was a former member of the National Funeral Directors Association and Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association.  For a time, he served as Deputy Coroner for Forest County.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his son, Ronald “Biff” McDonald II of Kane; his two daughters, Shelley K. McDonald and Rebecca R. “Reba” McDonald, both of Marienville; his two step-daughters, Tricia McMillan and her husband, George, of Cranesville, PA and Bethany Blicha and her husband, Matt, of Marienville; and his grandson, George McMillan of Cranesville.  Also surviving are his two brothers, Charles G. Walter of Pigeon, PA and David “Tim” Walter of Norwich, CT, one sister Eleanor Blummer of Brownsville, TX, and his mother-in-law, Martha Shartle of Marienville.

Along with his first wife, Molly, and his parents, Mr. McDonald is preceded in death by one son, William N. “Bill” McDonald; two brothers, Jim Walter and Jon Walter; and a sister, Jean Larson.

Family and friends will be received on Saturday, December 23, 2017 from 2-4 PM and 6-8 PM at the Furlong Funeral Home (formerly Ronald McDonald Funeral Home), 140 Cherry Street, Marienville, PA.

There will be a visitation from 1-2 PM on Sunday, December 24, 2017 at the funeral home.  Funeral services will be held at 2 PM at the funeral home with the Reverend Dan Richter officiating.

Interment will be in the St. Anns Cemetery, Jenks Twp., Forest County.

The family suggests memorial donations be made to St. Anns Cemetery, P.O. Box 627, Marienville, PA 16239 or North Forest Cemetery, P.O. Box 522, Marienville, PA 16239.

Family and friends may leave online condolences, light a memorial candle, order flowers, and obtain additional information at www.furlongfuneralhome.com.

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