Cover photo for Verna M. McDonald's Obituary
Verna M. McDonald Profile Photo

Verna M. McDonald

April 1, 1921 — August 8, 2021

Verna M. McDonald

Verna M. (Pelletier) McDonald, 100, of Glastonbury and formerly of Southington, passed away peacefully on Sunday, August 8, 2021 at Marlborough Health Care Center. She was the loving wife of the late John J. McDonald, before he passed away after a long illness at the age of 55.

Verna was born on April 1, 1921 in Fort Kent, Maine, oldest daughter, to the late Paul and Angie (Wiles) Pelletier. She was the oldest girl in a family of 16 brothers and sisters and lived on a large potato farm in Fort Kent, Maine, across from the St. John River and Canada. As a young girl, she attended a one-room schoolhouse until the sixth grade, where most of her classmates were her siblings.

As a teenager, she and her family struggled through the difficult years of the Great Depression and two World Wars. She often told the story of her love for her little brother, Babe, who would follow her everywhere. He never wanted to leave her side as she did chores and prepared meals for the family. Babe was just a young boy when he was in a truck accident while playing with his younger brother and tragically killed. His brother survived but it was a time of deep sadness for Verna and her family.

As a young adult, Verna enrolled in a school for teachers. The 5-mile walk to the school and back home in the dark became very difficult in the frigid cold winters in Maine and she was never able to complete her dream of getting a teaching degree.

During the war, Verna moved to Portland, Maine and worked as a riveter on the warships. After the war was over, she moved to Waterbury, CT where she worked at a clock factory and enjoyed going to dances with her friends. It was there that she met and married John McDonald, settling down in Southington to raise their family. Verna enjoyed many happy years boating, camping and fishing during summer family vacations.

Later in life, she loved spending her spare time golfing and bowling with friends and was a great competitor at both.

Verna lived her life in her own way; always staying busy and never feeling sorry for herself. She was always excited to see her grown kids and grandchildren.

Verna will be deeply missed by her family and friends. She is survived by her children, Diane McDonald and her husband Baki Cetegen of Glastonbury, Deb Vanoni and her husband John of North Windham, Jeffrey McDonald and his wife Regina of Fort Myers, FL and 5 grandchildren; Shaylin, Amberly, Shawn, Colin and Blake. She was predeceased by her son, Kenneth McDonald.

Verna’s family would like to extend love and appreciation to her at-home polish caregivers, Dorothy and Anna, for their compassion and care they provided to her at her home. They would also like to extend a special thank you to the entire staff at Addison Place in Glastonbury, especially Dawn and Jessica, for the excellent care they provided to her during her stay with them.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Verna’s memory may be made to the CT Humane Society, 701 Russell Rd, Newington, CT 06111 ( or to Southington Bread for Life, PO Box 925, Southington, CT 06489 (

A graveside service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, August 11, 2021 at St. Thomas Cemetery, Southington. Plantsville Funeral Home has been entrusted with handling the arrangements.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Verna M. McDonald, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Graveside Service

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Starts at 11:00 am

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