RONAN — Sharon Laketa McDonald (Grandma Sherri) passed away peacefully at her home Tuesday, July 13, 2020. She was surrounded by her loving family that cared for her during her illness. Sherri was born in Fergus Falls, Minnesota on February 15, l932. She was 88 years old. She was born into a loving Norwegian family.
She attended grade school in Fergus Falls and in a country school outside of Fergus. Her fondest memories were of living on the farm and attending country school. After her freshman year of school at Fergus Falls High School, her family moved to Miles City, Montana and she attended Custer County High School and Custer County Junior College. Sherri transferred to Western Montana College for her second year and graduated with a Two-Year Certificate that made her eligible to teach elementary school grades 1-8. While at Western she met her husband Joe McDonald and they have been married 68 years.
Together they raised four children, Tim, Terry, Tracie, and Tom. She and the children moved several times following their father's teaching and coaching career. The family lived in Oilmont, Plevna, Miles City, Hamilton, Missoula, Havre, and Ronan.
She was instrumental in helping to create and establish the Ronan elementary school library. Later she worked to help develop the Salish Kootenai College library.
She then devoted her time and energy in helping to create a food pantry to help feed people in need in the Ronan area. The food pantry is called the Ronan Bread Basket and has become well established and serves the community well. She served as the director of the Bread Basket for 26 years.
Sherri took many trips with Joe that included Scotland, Taiwan, New Zealand, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, England, Newfoundland, and her last trip was to Norway. She traveled to many meetings events throughout the United States and was able to help Joe and Salish Kootenai College become established. She became well known in the tribal college community and at Salish Kootenai College for helping students and staff. She was known as “Grandma Sherri” to all. The commons room at the Joe McDonald Health and Fitness Center is named the “Sherri Room” in her honor.
She is survived by her husband, Joe, her children, nine grand-children, and nine great- grandchildren listed as follows: son, Tim, Ronan; son Terry and his daughters Angela and Carma and Carma's husband Tony Bushnell and their children Jaden, Sammuel, Sophie; son, Tom and his wife Teresa and their children; Annie and her daughters Kylynn, Kaeslynn and Kendalynn; Erin and her daughter Esmae; Katie and her son Ben; Noah and Christopher; daughter Tracie and her daughters Jessica and Brandie and her daughter Rylee.
She was preceded in death by her parents Gladys and Norvin Christopherson and nephew Brian Harris.
A celebration of her life will occur at a later date when everyone can safely gather and share stories about Sherri.
Memorial donations can be made to the McDonald Scholarship at the Salish Kootenai College Foundation, Pablo, or the Ronan Bread Basket. Messages of condolences may be shared with the family online at www.shriderthompson.com. Arrangements are under the care of Shrider-Thompson Funeral Home.