Surrounded by family, Mildred Helen “Middy” “Moo” Donald passed away while peacefully praying, going into the arms of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on June 9, 2022, at Garden Courte Memory Home in Olympia, Washington.
Born in Chehalis, Washington, on March 18, 1933 to William and Gertrude Schmitt, Mildred was the second daughter of six children. She spent her happy childhood growing up on the family farm in Harmony, Washington. Whenever asked about her experience during the Great Depression, she always maintained that her family was extremely blessed to have enough food and did not feel the hardships that others faced at that time. Mildred told stories of joining her parents as they discretely shared their harvest with those neighbors who were less fortunate. This spirit of generosity was imprinted upon her at a young age and remained a core part of her personality throughout her lifetime.
Mildred attended Mossyrock High School with her big sister Esther. While there, she met a handsome logger named Herb Looney. They quickly fell in love and married on New Year’s Eve 1949, later moving to Bandon, Oregon in 1951 to pursue job opportunities in the logging industry. In Oregon, they went on to have four children: Robert (Bob), Diane, Carol and Janet. However, after 24 years of marriage, they decided to part ways and divorced in 1973.
Mildred then returned to Centralia and over the next decade became a grandma to nine grandchildren. This tight-knit bunch that she often looked after, began to affectionately call her “Grandma Moo” — a term of endearment originating from the (unintentionally hilarious) hands-on-her-hips moments when she was annoyed. At first, the nickname “drove her batty,” but she ultimately learned to love it and embrace the many cow-inspired gifts she received.
In 1985, she was introduced to Roy Donald of Port Townsend, Washington, by her sister Esther and brother-in-law, Jack. Roy quickly fell in love with Mildred’s feisty and gregarious personality, while Mildred loved Roy’s kind and happy-go-lucky disposition. They eloped in Reno, Nevada in 1986; a city they both enjoyed and would continue to visit over the course of their 21 year marriage.
Perched atop Discovery Bay, Mildred and Roy lived many happy years together in their beach house. It became the gathering place for holidays such as the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving. It was always packed with friends, family and laughter. After a long drive out there, there was nothing better than opening the sliding glass kitchen door to a big pot of Moo’s famous homemade noodles simmering on the stove and the scent of her incredible cinnamon rolls baking in the oven.
When not entertaining guests, Mildred enjoyed doing cross-stitch, reading non-fiction novels and tending to her impressive African violet collection. She and Roy also traveled extensively throughout the United States, road tripping to nearly all of the lower 48 states. Together, they went to national parks and famous landmarks, making sure to bring home a magnet for every state they visited to add to their collection.
After Roy passed in 2007, Mildred moved back to her birthplace, Chehalis. Her home in Newaukum Village allowed her to be closer to her now very large extended family and served as the new hub for holiday gatherings.
Mildred (Grandma Moo) was truly one of a kind. She was a force of nature with a spirit full of love that was larger than life. For those of us that were lucky enough to call her daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend, we are better people for having her in our lives.
Mildred was preceded in death by her husband Roy, father William Schmitt, mother Gertrude Miller, and brothers Frank and Ernie.
Mildred is survived by her siblings, Al (Jean), Esther Blair, and Bill (Lisa); her son Robert (Bob) Looney (Tracy); and her daughters, Diane Armitage, Carol Potvin LaMahr and Janet Perry (Rick); her 10 grandchildren, Greg (Amanda), Angela (Nathan), Andrea, John (Claudia), Steven (Micah), Desiree (Nathan), Robert (Sierra), Jill (Björn), Scott (Autumn) and Kaitlin (Isidro); and her many great-grandchildren.
A celebration of Mildred’s life will be held on Friday, June 17, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. PST in Centralia at Borst Park, Kitchen 1.
To view the obituary, please go to chronline.com/obituaries.