Genevieve I. MacDonald was born in Glenfinnan to John Wilfred and Katie (Fraser) MacDonald. She was a graduate of Prince of Wales College and the Charlottetown Hospital School of Nursing. She also had a diploma in Nursing Education from Dalhousie University.
Genevieve loved nursing; she nursed in Winnipeg, Regina, Calgary, Boston, and Bermuda, but she always considered the Charlottetown Hospital her home. She became a nursing instructor at the Charlottetown Hospital School of Nursing, later the PEI School of Nursing, where she taught until she retired.
She was a founding member of the PEI Scottish Settlers Historical Society, the PEI Genealogical Society, and the Hillsborough River Association, and in 1998, she graduated from UPEI with a Bachelor of Arts in History. Her love of both nursing and history combined when she co-authored the history of the Charlottetown Hospital School of Nursing and wrote A Time of Challenge and Change, the history of the PEI School of Nursing.
Genevieve married Carl G. MacDonald, and together they had three children:
Catherine, Mary-Carla, and Matthew, and eight grandchildren. As a wife and mother, she was devoted to her family; she promoted and supported their interests in music,
dance, and sports, and she led by example with her own interests in playing the violin and the harp and Scottish Country Dancing.
Genevieve was a deeply insightful and empathetic person. Her understanding of human development and emotion and her ability to make each person she was with feel her keen interest in them made her well respected and loved among those who knew her.
Genevieve MacDonald had an active and inquiring mind. At the time of the very sudden illness which claimed her life on March 9, 2017, she was at her computer working on preparations for a lecture on Nelly MacDonald, on whom she had just finished writing a book.
It is important to note, and it is some consolation to those of us that miss her so much, that at no time did she ever have to refrain from any of the activities that she loved so much, her research and writing, her work with the Scottish Settlers, meeting her grandchildren after school, and taking them to activities, her devotion to care, and hospitality. Above all, Genevieve loved her family, her husband and children, her grandchildren and her siblings.
Gen was an active supporter of Glenaladale Heritage Trust’s efforts to purchase and preserve Glenaladale Estate. We miss her.