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Joyce McDonald

Joyce McDonald

After a courageous struggle with brain cancer, Joyce McDonald passed away on February 23, 2016 at the age of 68. Among numerous accolades and titles, her most prized accomplishment later in life was earning her black belt in Kung Fu. She was always a fighter but also knew when to surrender gracefully, and she went peacefully in her home surrounded by her immediate family. Joyce was born on February 1, 1948 in Dorris, California to Bessie and Ron McIntyre and older sister Jean. After moving to San Antonio, she attended Jefferson HS and later The University of Texas at Austin where she earned a B.A. in Russian and M.A. in Educational Psychology. She married fellow-Longhorn Robert L. McDonald on November 22, 1969. After college she worked as a high school teacher and counselor and later served the technology sector as a programmer, technical trainer, network administrator and documentation specialist. She and Robert lived in San Antonio and raised three children, Heather, Laura and Scott. Joyce is preceded in death by her mother, father, and sister. She is survived by her husband, Robert, three children--Heather Lotts (Gary Lotts), Laura McDonald (Mauricio Portasio) and Scott McDonald, and four grandchildren--Josie Lotts, Gavin Lotts, Braden Lotts & Mei McDonald.

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"Murder on the Iditarod Trail" by Sue Henry

Published in 1991, and winner of the Anthony Award and the Macavity Award, both for “Best First Mystery,” Murder on the Iditarod Trail chronicles the adventures of a musher (as Iditarod contestants are known) and a State Trooper as the former tries to elude and the latter tries to catch the person responsible for the deaths of three mushers and the maiming of three more. Continue reading .

"String of Pearls" by Priscilla Buckley

The title of this book is evidently a double entendre–a guess, since pearls are never mentioned in the narrative. However, a string of pearls was and still is a wardrobe staple for the professional woman. A “string of pearls” must also refer to the format of the narrative. It is a collection of vignettes presented in a logical if not always chronological order. As the reader progresses through the stories, he or she realizes that these stories are indeed gems. Continue reading .

"Ice Bound" by Jerri Nielsen

Ice Bound is available at What Sara Wheeler did for traveling in Antarctica, Jerri Nielsen’s bestseller does for living in Antarctica. Dr. Nielsen made international news when she discovered that she had breast cancer during a long Antarctic winter at the South Pole. The base is customarily shut down during the nine months of … Continue reading .

"Terra Incognita" by Sara Wheeler

People who are space nuts may not realize that we know more about Mars than we know about some places on our own planet. Antarctica is one of these places. International treaties have dictated that Antarctica, the only place on earth with no native human population, be used for scientific endeavors, and that those endeavors … Continue reading .

"The Birds' Christmas Carol" by Kate Douglas Wiggin

An endearing quality about Wiggins’ writing is the wonderful detail with which she describes even the most minor of events. She is also very clever at describing the social milieu of the day, so clever that one would come to believe that she might be commenting on social realities such as class divisions. Continue reading .

"The Romance of a Christmas Card" by Kate Douglas Wiggin

Although Kate Douglas Wiggin is famous for Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, she can deal with some remarkably dark subjects for an obvious optimist. The Romance of a Christmas Card is in the end a story of strange coincidences that ultimately lead to redemption. Continue reading .

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