In Appreciation: Rosa McDonald
Feisty and colorful USNI Commodore Rosa Laird McDonald, 92, died peacefully at her home in Delaware, on 3 January 2009. She was a 40-year Life Member, a generous supporter, and a popular visitor to Beach Hall.
After graduating from high school in 1934 she worked as a girl Friday at her family's private airport in Wilmington, Delaware and became certified as a pilot by age 21. She was a passenger on one of the first round-the-world Pan American Clipper flights in 1939 and finagled her way into several stints as co-pilot during the eight-week journey.
After the death of Nathan Hayward, the Army officer she married in 1941, Rosa wed Ellice McDonald, who survives her. They shared a passion for animals, domestic and exotic, and always had a menagerie of pets roaming their estate, Invergarry. Rosa's lifelong interest in genealogy led her to trace Ellice's Scottish roots and to ignite his interest in his family's strong ties to the Isle of Skye. Ellice eventually became Chieftain of the Clan Donald Society of the United States.