Deborah Lynn McDonald
February 27, 1949- May 31, 2021
Deborah Lynn McDonald passed away Monday afternoon, Memorial Day, May 31, 2021.
Nobody called her Deborah. She was Debbie, Aunt Debbie, or Mom.
Debbie was born Deborah Lynn Osteen, February 27, 1949 in Frederick Maryland, of Dutch, French, and Cherokee descent. She was the daughter of Ethel Mae and Alfred Odell Osteen, a Methodist minister. She lived most of her childhood in Wheaton, MD and graduated from Northwood High School in 1967, where she was a soprano in the concert choir.
As a child she often felt stifled by the prim-and-properness of her upbringing . . . she dreamed of being a lion-tamer, or running away to live in the jungle like a female Tarzan. In her teens she contracted a severe case of Beatlemania, and got to see the Beatles on their very first tour in the US.
In 1969 Debbie married into the Scoville clan, and she and her first husband Jerry Scoville had two sons, Brian and David, in the 1970s.
Also, in the 70s she got her nursing certificate and worked as an LPN at Fairfax Hospital until she was deep into her second pregnancy, and then took some years off to just be a mom.
In 1983 she went back to school, got her AA in nursing and became a registered nurse. She worked long, hard hours as an ICU nurse, saving lives and doing a lot of good. She worked at Fairfax Hospital from 1985 to ’89, and then at Southern Maryland Hospital from 1989 to 2005.
In 1998 she married her second husband, Howard McDonald, who was her soul mate, her buddy, and her champion.
In 2005 she had surgery to correct a heart problem. The surgery was successful, but there were complications that led to a cascading series of health problems that no doctor was ever able to fully unravel. She became effectively disabled, and was unable to go back to work at her incredibly taxing job in the ICU.
Debbie’s restless drive would not accept premature retirement, and so she took up a second career as a Reiki practitioner, doing healing sessions and teaching seminars, she wrote a textbook for the field and worked to promote the inclusion of Reiki in hospital health care options.
She surrounded herself with beautiful objects and images from the natural world. She loved dragonflies and elephants and amethyst.
Though she probably never saw herself as such, or even worried about it, she was strikingly beautiful, with long dark hair, green eyes, and Cherokee cheekbones.
She wrote poetry. She had a creative and open-minded and original intellect. She was an explorer at heart.
She had a profound love of nature and an adventurous spirit. She loved camping, hiking, and gardening.
She was a fierce and loving lioness of a mom. She taught her children a lot of great lessons about personal strength and self-reliance, personal responsibility and compassion, about open-mindedness and intellectual curiosity.
She was strong, smart, funny, fun, and kind.
Through her 16 years of complex and debilitating illness, that gradually stripped her of her mobility and freedom, Debbie maintained a positive mindset, hopeful and determined. Self-pity and ennui and melodrama were not parts of her repertoire. She was strong. And she was brave.
Through all those hard years, Howard was faithfully and dedicatedly at her side in all ways, took care of her and tried to make the most of their life together.
Though her body was wracked with pain and disease, she never lost her mental faculties, she remained herself, mentally, sharp and smart and intellectually curious, until the very end.
Debbie is free now. She is survived by her husband Howard, her son Brian and daughter-in-law Sarah, her son David and daughter-in-law Kate, and her four grandchildren: Cora (13), Beowulf (10), and adorable twins Rook and Inara (7).
Saturday, June 5, 2021
2:00 PM – 5:00 PM