Frances June MacDonald, artist, of Gorham, Maine died September 3, 2019 at the age of 85. She was born March 12, 1934 in Waltham, MA, the daughter of Ida Lillian (McKinnon) MacDonald and George Richard MacDonald. She was predeceased by all of her siblings: James Eldon Burdett, late of San Antonio; Bernice Henrida (Burdett) Ulrich, late of New Orleans; Seron Winfield (Dunn) Bailey, late of Rye, NH; George Richard MacDonald, Jr., late of Watertown, MA; and John Richard MacDonald, late of Watertown, MA.
After graduating from Watertown, MA High School, Frances attended the Massachusetts School of Art, receiving her Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting and print making in 1956. Her early prints are in the permanent collections of a number of museums including the Library of Congress, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Institute of Contemporary Art, Pittsburgh Art Museum, Farnsworth Museum, Colby College, and Fitchburg Art Museum. During this time she also taught drawing in the Massachusetts school system, painted the murals at 1200 Beacon Street, and trained as a silversmith.
Frances moved to New York in the 1960’s and continued her painting and print making on the lower east side. She also started to make hand carved flutes. Frances began to study Tai Chi, an interest that lasted many years, including a summer teaching Tai Chi at a Buddhist school in Colorado. This led to an interest in Chinese, which she began to study in the 1970’s. She moved to San Francisco where she attended, and was employed by, San Francisco State University. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Chinese in 1981. She subsequently moved to Taipei where she taught for 4 years including 2 years at the ELS International Taiwan Language School. She returned to San Francisco to earn a Master of Arts in Chinese from San Francisco State University in 1987.
In 1987, the Peoples Republic of China government hired Frances to teach English at the Lanzhou Institute of Chemical Physics. She taught graduate and undergraduate students and gave lectures on American culture as one of a small handful of westerners in the province. She also designed and made puppets for a puppet show she wrote for her Chinese students. She was able to travel extensively as one of the first non-citizens to travel in that part of China.
Frances returned to San Francisco in 1988 where she continued her printmaking, becoming a member of the San Francisco Woman’s Artist Gallery. She later moved to Old Orchard Beach, ME in 1999 where she retired.
Frances is survived by 17 nieces and nephews: James Burdett of Montana; Judy (Burdett) Treibs of Texas; Ronald Burdett of Virginia; Elaine (Burdett) Chaser of Texas; William Burdett of Texas; Bernice (Cadman) Boe of Louisiana; Joyce (Bailey) Nelson of New Hampshire; Frederick Bailey, III of New Hampshire; John MacDonald, Jr. of Washington; George MacDonald of Maine; Brian MacDonald of Massachusetts; Jean MacDonald of Massachusetts, Michael MacDonald of Arizona; Jackie (MacDonald) McDonald of Massachusetts; Mary (MacDonald) Causland of Massachusetts; Jill (MacDonald) Papazian of Massachusetts; and James MacDonald of Massachusetts. She is predeceased by 5 nieces and nephews: Jackie Burdett, Joseph Cadman, Michelle MacDonald, Sheryl (MacDonald) Raffaelo, and Joseph MacDonald. Great and great-great nieces and nephews also survive her.
A Funeral Service will be held in the MacDonald, Rockwell & MacDonald Funeral Home, 270 Main St. Watertown on Saturday September 7th at 11 AM. Relatives & friends kindly invited. Interment Ridgelawn Cemetery, Watertown. Visiting hours Saturday from 9-11 AM.
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