Cover photo for Sarah Macdonald's Obituary
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1926 Sarah 2022

Sarah Macdonald

September 29, 1926 — October 14, 2022

Madison

Sarah Ellen MacDonald passed peacefully at Brookdale Century Avenue in Middleton on Friday morning, October 14.

Sally was a gardener. Of course, she was many things - a devoted daughter, friend, wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother. She worked at the circulation desk of the Ann Arbor Public Library for 24 years and was a consummate homemaker for 70 years. She was an active and enthusiastic member of many organizations during her long life - the King's Daughters, Order of the Eastern Star; Sigma Omega Phi sorority; Westminster, First and Christ Presbyterian Churches; Girl Scouts; Cub Scouts; PTA; the Ann Arbor Garden Club; the Sunset Garden Club; the University League; the Jane Austen Society; the Capital Questors, and others.

She was an avid reader and bibliophile; a history buff; a film lover; a traveler ; a knitter; a superb cook and baker; a seamstress and decorator. But of all Sally's passions and skills, flower gardening was to her the most precious. She had a genius for mixing colors and textures, whether in containers or perennial beds. Working in her garden, she found joy, peace, divinity.

Sarah Ellen was born in Flint, Michigan on September 29, 1926, to Margaret and Frederick Zollner. She graduated from Flint Central High on June 7, 1944; and was married to her Army Air Corps sweetheart, Bruce Howard Welch, at Chapel Presbyterian Church in Flint on August 29, 1947. When Bruce graduated from Central Michigan University in 1952, they moved to South Haven, Michigan, where Bruce's teaching career - and their 2 children - were born. In 1957, Bruce accepted a teaching position at Ann Arbor Pioneer High School, and the family relocated. The Welch family remained in Ann Arbor, where Sally was a homemaker until 1967, when she began working at the circulation desk of the Ann Arbor Public Library, retiring in 1991. Bruce left Pioneer High School to join the faculty of the newly minted Washtenaw Community College in 1966, and lead the development of their Automotive Service program until his death on September 15, 1978.

In January of 1981, Sally married fellow church member and travel enthusiast, Lloyd MacDonald. They traveled extensively in England, Scotland, the Eastern Seaboard and Nova Scotia. Two years after Lloyd's passing in 1994, Sally moved to Madison, Wisconsin, to be close to her daughter and her family. She was loved and respected by her family and the good friends she found in her adopted home, but always remained a Michigander at heart.

Sally goes to join her husband, Bruce; her brother, Frederick Zollner(Muriel); her son-in-law, Charlie Johnson; Molly Schmidt and many other dear friends.

What a garden party they will have!

She is survived by her daughter, Bethany Johnson and partner, John LaPhilliph; her son, Mark Welch (Judy Bregman); her grandchildren, Alexander (Jessica), Abigail and Alice (Brooke Stamfli) Johnson, and Rebecca and Seth Welch; her great grandchildren Elizabeth and John Welch, and Charlie K Johnson; her nieces Deborah Demattia, Kim Green, Lynn Zollner and their families; her loving friends in Ann Arbor and Madison.

The Johnson and Welch families wish to thank the caring, supportive staff at Brookdale Century Avenue, Middleton; the peerless nurses, CNA 's and staff of Agrace Hospice Care; Sally’s devoted friends, Nancy Fonzen and Karen Goebel.

A visitation will be held at 10:00 on Wednesday, October 19 at Cress Funeral Home, 3610 Speedway in Madison, to be followed by a short service at 11:00.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Sally's name to the Dane County Humane Society, Heifer International, or the Sierra Club, three of her favorite charities.

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

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Cress Funeral Home Madison - Speedway

3610 Speedway Rd, Madison, WI 53705

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Funeral Service

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Cress Funeral Home Madison - Speedway

3610 Speedway Rd, Madison, WI 53705

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Committal

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Starts at 11:45 am (Central time)

Forest Hill Cemetery, Madison, McFarland

WI

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