Martha Genell Key McDonald

February 21, 1928 ‒ March 07, 2020

Mount Vernon, Ohio

Martha Genell Key McDonald was born in the back of a railroad depot country store in Davis Switch, Texas on February 21, 1928, the first daughter of Joe and Virgie Key.  Joe Key was a cotton ginner, moving from place to place in south Texas building cotton gins, taking his family with him.  They lived in such places as Charlotte, Mullin, Goldthwaite, and other such thriving centers for agriculture.  During WWII, she served as a relief telegraph operator for the railroad in Central Texas, south of Abilene.  She met the love of her life while working in Ballinger, Texas when a mutual friend sent a box of cockroaches by rail for Frank Byron McDonald that he had to pick up and sign for a the rail station.  After the war, she graduated from Southwest Texas State Teachers College with a teaching degree in Home Economics.  Her first teaching job was in Ysleta, Texas near El Paso, Texas.  A couple of years later, she and Bryon were married in Anthony, New Mexico the day after Christmas in 1952.  They lived a short while in Santa Anna, Texas starting their family.  In 1956, they moved to Lovington, New Mexico, where she taught school and Frank worked in the oilfield.  They lived in Lovington until Frank’s death in 2012.  Martha moved to Mount Vernon, Ohio in October of 2013.  She passed away early Saturday morning, March 7, 2020, surrounded by her family.

Martha was the last member of her generation on both sided of her family, being preceded in death by her parents, Joe and Virgie Key, her older brother, Rupert Key (Francis), her younger sisters, Mary Key Windham (Norman) and Pat Key Cox (Ted); her husband of 59 years, Frank Byron McDonald; and a daughter-in-law, Renee McDonald.

She is survived by her three sons, Joe Tom McDonald of Rowlett, Texas, Mike McDonald (Shelia) of Buford, Georgia and Kriss McDonald (Felicia) of Mount Vernon; grandchildren, Ty McDonald, Rachel McDonald Hester (Chris), Elise McDonald Kramer (Alex), Krissta McDonald Hadsell (Jeff), Sara McDonald Williamson (Brian) and Jason McDonald (Michelle); great grandchildren, Aubrey and Gavin Hadsell, Janelle, Jake, and Sadie Ann Williamson, Connor, Levi and Addy McDonald, and Elliott and Joy Renee Hester; many loving nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends from 10 a.m. until the time of a funeral service celebrating the life of Martha at 12 p.m. on Monday, March 9, 2020 at the First Church of the Nazarene, 807 Coshocton Ave., Mount Vernon with Rev. Joe Proudfoot and Rev. F.H. Bolerjack officiating.

Martha will be laid to rest beside her husband, Bryon on Friday, March 13, 2020 at 1 p.m. in the Santa Anna Cemetery, Santa Anna, Texas  on Friday, March 13, 2020.

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  • Dear McDonald Family,
    My deepest sympathy to all of you in the loss of your loved one.

  • Sara
    We are so sorry to hear about the passing of your grandmother. I know you
    Have many wonderful memories of her. Treasure these memories and know
    That she loved you dearly. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
    Aunt Darlene and uncle Del

  • McDonald Family,
    Martha, what a sweet, sweet lady. In just the few short years we’ve known her we’ve grown to love her like our own grandma. Such a Godly legacy she left in each of you. You are all in our thoughts and prayers as you walk down this journey of grief. Hold on to all the special memories and share them with each other, celebrating her life.
    All our love & lots of hugs,

  • To the McDonald Family,

    My deepest sympathies for your loss. Although I never had the fortune to meet Martha, I got to know of her sweet soul over the past few months through my mother, Pam. Martha brought a light to so many lives, near and far, and her passing is being felt just as wide. My thoughts and prayers are with your family and those who knew her best.

    Sending love from Tennessee,

  • Kriss and Felicia,

    I am so sorry to hear about Kriss’ mom! My deepest sympathy to you and you family through this tough time! I am sorry I was not able to make the calling hours with Kathleen. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers!


    Brian Miletic

  • McDonald family,
    We are so sorry to hear of the loss of dear sweet Martha. Our deepest condolences to your family. We have been neighbors since 2017 and I’m sad we didnt get to see much of each other, but I remember her stories the times we did share and how much she loved and adored her family. Our kids loved talking to her when they played outside and we will miss seeing her sweet and beautiful smile. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. God Bless