Kate Elaine McDonald



Kate Elaine McDonald was unexpectedly carried away to her new home in Heaven on May 17, 2021. Kate was born in Kettering, Ohio on September 2, 2008. She was so excited to be the third child of Kody and Rich McDonald that she nearly made her arrival at a Bob Evans Restaurant. Kate was baptized at Red Lion Church in Franklin, Ohio. She later lived in Atlanta, Georgia with her family before moving to Michigan.

Ever kind-hearted and full of joy, Kate saw beauty in the world around her which she reflected through her art, music, and more recently in her photography. From her first day of Kindergarten at Murray Lake Elementary, Kate loved to create art. She was also gifted in music and maintained quite a Spotify playlist to entertain her family during their adventures on the Flat River. She knew the words to every song she heard and wasn’t always amused when her dad sang his own version of the lyrics. Kate saw the world with sensitive eyes. Her parents recognized this characteristic and gave her the gift of a camera. In return, their “Katie- Kate” gave them the gift of photographs that will forever remind them of her unique and beautiful perspective.

Kate inherited her mom’s love of animals, and she cuddled and cared for them as generously as she did her human family members. Hanging out and being goofy with her siblings, Marcus and Megan, filled her heart.

Kate’s heart was too big and sensitive for this world. Although she is now rejoicing in Heaven, the world has been cruelly robbed of the light, joy, and beauty of Kate Elaine McDonald.

She will be deeply missed by her loving parents, Rich and Kody McDonald; her brother, Marcus; sister, Megan; grandparents, Marcus and Karen Mote of Waynesville, Ohio, Bob and Gail McDonald of Mt. Pleasant, Michigan; her aunts and uncles, Kevin Mote and his fiance Missy Christman, Donna McDonald and Steve Pinard, David and Loretta McDonald, Julie and Brent Gaines, and Lisa and Peter Foy; her 10 cousins, Britta, Nick, Ryan, Hadley, Calvin, Evie, Ethan, Lydia, Kelsey and Luke; her devoted cat, Lewie; and countless others who were blessed to have her in their lives.

A private family service will be live streamed on Facebook Thursday, May 20, at 4pm at https://www.facebook.com/gerstgrandrapids. Friends and family may share their condolences from 5:30-7:30 PM on Thursday, May 20, at Roth-Gerst Chapel, 305 North Hudson, Lowell. Masks and social distancing will be required. Flowers may be sent to that same address.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions and the need for social distancing, an additional opportunity to express your condolences to the family will be offered on Friday, May 21, at Fallasburg Park in Lowell. Please come to the park any time between 11:00-1:00. Kate’s family requests that you contribute to her memory book by sharing a written memory, story, or sentiment about Kate.  Materials will be provided for you to do so at the park, or you may write your thoughts in advance and bring them with you to be added to the book. Dress comfortably for the outdoor setting and if you happen to have an article of clothing in Kate’s favorite color orange, please wear it.

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28 Responses

  1. We are so blessed to know the family, and Kate. Our hearts go out to all the family, friends, and pets that were dearly loved by her! Her smile was contagious. We love you all and will try to make the funeral.

  2. Our hearts are broken as we try to comprehend the loss you are experiencing. We know our children are only loaned to us for awhile, but it is just more than our minds can comprehend the time to say “til we meet again”. We know Kate is in Jesus’ arms and probably playing with all our beloved animals that have left us too soon. Please know your family is in our prayers and you are not traveling this journey alone. Our Lord never leaves our side and He is walking this journey, holding you up.

  3. I’ll miss you forever! I’ll cherish my memories of you trotting into gymnastics with your piggy tails, big dimples, and little leotard. I’ll always remember you conquering fears with me for your first time on the “big girls team” for cheer. You brought so much joy to my life every Sunday and my heart will never be the same. Love you Katie-Kate ❤️

  4. I will never forget the way you would run to me with open arms and a huge smile on your face, with that beautiful smile and your dimples, every time you saw me. I loved the big hugs. Thanks for the memories, Kate.

  5. Our deepest condolences to all the Mac Donald family.You are all in our prayers during this difficult time.

  6. Our condolences in this difficult time. We love you all. Love always Carolyn karl amelia and hixson Kugler

  7. I’ll always remember how Kate lit up the room everyday walking into school with a bright attitude even if she didn’t want to be there that day. As a former classmate of Kate I am beyond in shock on this loss and cannot be more thankful that her family is sharing her beautiful life with us and everyone else to just take a moment and realize how thankful we were to have her in the first place. Always in my heart, -T.

  8. I will never forget the first time i met Kate at cheer practice she was so full of energy and was constantly on the go. She was so fearless gaining so many new skills and flying her was my favorite part going from being a flyer myself to backing Kate in the air ill never forget how good she was at it and how quickly she learned new things. I’ll miss her spunky and creative personality she had. Love you and miss you so much Kate❤️

  9. We love you sweet girl. Never once did I see you without a smile on your face, always bright and cheery. Your light will never fade. We miss you so much.

  10. My sincere condolences to the McDonald family, thoughts and prayers to all of you during this time.

  11. Rich & family – please know all of you are in my prayers and I’m sending my prayers to the entire McDonald family. May God provide strength and comfort to everyone. Kate will be a shining star above to guide & inspire all the lives she touched on earth.

  12. Dear Rich, Cody and family. Our deepest condolences to you all. May God wrap His loving arms around you and give you comfort always.

  13. Our deepest condolences to all the Mac Donald family.You are all in our prayers during this difficult time.

  14. Kody, I am so sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine your pain right now. I will pray for you and your family.

  15. I didn’t get a chance to know Kate very well, but I felt like I did from all I heard from mom Kody..such a sweet soul with a big heart with the great love of animals like her mom. You will be missed. Be at peace sweet girl, you are so loved

  16. My thoughts and prayers are with you all today! I really wish I could be there for you. I will always remember Kate’s sweet smile! I’ll be praying for God’s comfort to surround you now and always! Much love to you all!

  17. My thoughts and prayers are with the family today. As the 7th grade Math Interventionist at the middle school, I didn’t know Kate really well, but I was fortunate enough to get to work with her a few times. She was such a kind, sweet, polite young lady. I will miss her.

  18. I’m so sorry this happened to your family. My heart is breaking for you all. She was a beautiful girl. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

  19. My heart is broken for you! I remember Kate’s beautiful face in my office. She was such a wonderful little girl! Please don’t beat yourselves up wondering what we could have done. There is no answer to that question until you are with Kate in heaven! I cannot imagine the pain you are in, but I will continue to pray that you find peace in knowing that Kate is in the hands of our God.

  20. Our sincere condolences to the McDonald family, thoughts and prayers to you and your love ones during this most difficult time.

  21. Kate was a wonderful student. She loved music and was always a great role model and friend to her classmates. Kate was one of the few students that would regularly come and visit me during parent/teacher conferences. I always looked forward to getting to work with her each year. It is so sad thinking that she isn’t walking with us on this world anymore. Stay strong, everybody.

  22. Grace and peace to all her family and friends—-thank-you Kate sharing your gifts with everyone you touched!

  23. I’m so sorry for your loss. You are all in my thoughts and Prayers

  24. Sorry for your significant loss of a grand child Gail Ann and family. I have lost a grandchild and know the pain. It is tough to loose a child. Thought and prayers with you.

  25. I am so sorry for your loss. Kate was such and amazing girl. Her and all of you will forever remain in my hearts and prayers.

  26. I remember 6th grade with her, her and I were laughing running through the hall. She and I had quite a bit of the same clothes. Her and I used to face time, I miss her very much and will forever love her. She will forever be held in my heart.

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