Anna Louise Birnie McDonald, wife of the late Dr. Edmund McDonald Sr., died Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2005, at her residence in Sumter.
Born in Sumter County on July 23, 1917, she was the only child born to the late Dr. Charles Wainwright Birnie and Ruth Gardena Harrison. Dr. Birnie was the first black physician in Sumter and his wife, Ruth, was the first black pharmacist in Sumter. They operated both their medical and pharmaceutical practices on West Liberty Street and it provided the community with a place to congregate and socialize. Anna was also a close relative of two former presidents of South Carolina State University in Orangeburg.
Anna began her educational journey by attending elementary school at Lincoln in Sumter. Her high school career began at the Browning Home (later known as Boylan-Haven Mather Academy) in Camden and was later completed at Atlanta University High School in Atlanta, Ga. She earned a bachelors degree from the American International College in Springfield, Mass. Further graduate studies were completed at the following universities: New York University, South Carolina State College and the University of South Carolina. She was employed by Sumter School District No. 17 for 33 years and retired on June 4, 1982.
In 1940, she married Dr. Edmund McDonald Sr. and their marriage endured for over 50 years until his death on Oct. 4, 1998.
Anna was a lifelong member of The Good Shepherd Episcopal Church where she served in numerous capacities throughout her lifetime including the Vestry and Women's Auxillary. Her community involvements were numerous and included Sumter Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., Life Golden Heritage member of the NAACP, National Teacher's Association, S.C. Education Association, former board member of St. Jude Catholic School, Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Federation of the Blind, and the Bridgettes and the Ace of Club Bridge organizations.
Survivors include their only son, Dr. Edmund (Valeria) McDonald Jr. of Sumter; two granddaughters, Birnie and Morgan McDonald; two special caretakers, Lucy Marshall and Yvonne Carter and a host of other relatives and friends.
A private funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd located at the corner of Dingle and Wright streets. The Rev. Mark Riggs will be officiating. The public is invited to join the family for the interment at Hillside Memorial Park at noon Monday.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Memorial Fund of the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, c/o P.O. Box 368, Sumter, SC 29151.
The Delta Omega Omega Service will be held at 6 p.m. Sunday at the Palmer Memorial Chapel.
The family will receive friends at the residence of Mrs. McDonald, 1044 S. Main St., Sumter.
Palmer Memorial Chapel is in charge of funeral arrangements.
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