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Mara  McDonald
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Obituary for Mara McDonald

MADISON- Mara McDonald, age 68, of Madison, passed away on Sunday, July 3, 2016. She was born on Oct. 11, 1947, in the daughter of Charles and Bruna McDonald. Mara received her Master's Degree at UCLA Berkley. She then travelled to Haiti where she wrote her dissertation and achieved her PhD from UCLA in Ornithology. Bird studies were her passion that took her many places all over the world. Mara was a pioneer for women in science and felt passionately about equality both within the scientific field and out; she fought for civil rights and social justice throughout her life. Mara moved to Madison and taught Plant Pathology at the UW for several years. In Madison she became involved with many organizations including the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology and the International Crane foundation. She was very involved with the First Unitarian Society of Madison. Mara was also actively involved with the Dane County Humane Society. She would adopt many "unadoptable" pets and give them a safe, loving home for life. Mara is survived by her brother, Eric (Jeannie) Hill; and sister, Michelle McDonald; as well as many cousins and friends. She is preceded in death by her parents. A Celebration of Mara's Life will be held at FIRST UNITARIAN SOCIETY OF MADISON, 900 University Bay Dr., Madison, at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 14, 2016. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to your local Humane Society.  Online condolences may be made at
Gunderson East
Funeral & Cremation Care
5203 Monona Drive

Previous Events

Celebration of Life




4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
First Unitarian Society (Madison)

900 University Bay Drive
Madison, WI


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