In Memoriam
Charity MacDonald

Charity E MacDonald, Beloved Teacher “Mrs. Mac” Dies at 87 Born Charity Elizabeth Wilson on September 8, 1922 to Michael Lambert and Charity Elizabeth Wilson in Bronxville, NY, she was one of a set of twins, and the oldest of six children. She grew up in Litchfield, Ct. She received her BS from NYU and a teaching certification from Western Connecticut State College. She started her teaching career at The Buckley School in New York City as a kindergarten teacher. In 1949 she left teaching to marry her childhood sweetheart Charles Rowley MacDonald in post war London. They settled in Bedford in 1957, where they raised five children, born within seven years of each other. She became very active with many local causes. At St. Matthew’s Church she directed and expanded the Sunday School. In the 1960’s she created a knitting group at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, which continues today. She was on the committee to select the architect for the Fox Lane Middle School where she eventually resumed her teaching career in 1969. As a Social Studies teacher “Mrs. Mac” was known for her unconventional and innovative methods in the classroom. She brought social studies to life by turning the school into a factory for a day, or holding mock trials, and town hall meetings with students playing given roles within the community. She developed many groundbreaking programs, including her own English-as-a-Second-Language curriculum as a result of having a Vietnamese boat child as a student. She was a strong and early proponent of mixed age learning which strove to reach every child at his or her own level. She brought her family life into the classroom by sharing family stories as lessons. Upon the birth of a new grandchild and she would not assign homework for that day, and to the glee of her students and every child on the team would receive an ice cream at lunch. Upon her retirement in 1990 she started a second career as a writer. She wrote about her life and local history in articles published in The New York Times, Reader’s Digest, and a popular column for the Bedford Record. She became a devoted trustee, and volunteer at the Bedford Free Library.
She was predeceased by her husband Charles, and siblings Margaret “Markie” Trottenberg, and Bill Wilson. She is survived by her twin Ruth Gibbs of Watertown, NY; sisters, Ellie Bent of Port St. Lucie, Fl; Emily Runge of Tulsa, Ok, her children, Donald, of Cold Spring, NY; Piers of Bedford, NY; Carol of Colchester Vt; Wilson of Holliston, Ma; and Bruce of Tarrytown NY; and all of their beloved spouses, as well as ten grandchildren.

There will be a Memorial Service at St. Matthew’s Church, Bedford, NY on Friday, September 25th at 11:00 am. Contributions in her memory may be made to the Bedford Free Library, in support of the “Lunch with Charity” fund, to honor the dedicated volunteers and staff. Originally published


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