MacDonald-RossThe family of Julia Ester (Sheila) MacDonald-Ross, (nee Mooney), 85, is very sad to announce her passing December 27, 2013 in Orillia, Ontario. Her beloved husband of almost 60 years, Donald, had passed just over a year ago.

Born 1928 in County Louth, Ireland and raised in the village of Ardee, she was one of 13 children, born to Julia Murtagh and Owen Mooney.

Like many young Irish people Sheila moved to England, where she met Donald at an Irish dance at the Round Tower club in London, and they fell in love. They eventually immigrated to Canada, where her older sister Eileen had moved to, and were married on Valentine’s Day in Niagara Falls in 1953.

Sheila was an absolutely wonderful mother who raised her five children with love and support throughout all of their lives. She was a great dancer, cook, gardener, reciter of poetry, and she spoke fluent Gaelic.  Sheila and Donald enjoyed traveling to many places, including Europe, Malta, the East Coast of Canada, and of course trips back to their beloved Ireland and family there.

Sheila and Donald were entrepreneurs, renovating century homes, including the Sir William Mackenzie Inn and restaurant in Kirkfield.

Predeceased by her sisters and brothers and her son Ross, she is survived by her children; Sheila (Frank Lyons), Donald, Maisie (Jarvis Jewell) and Nuala (Ron Wilson), ten grandchildren, three great grandchildren and many nephews and nieces who also loved her dearly.

Sheila will be greatly missed and was loved by all who knew her. No doubt she is now dancing on the Hill of Tara with her husband ‘ Donal’ by her side.

Thank you to everyone at Spencer House, Orillia, and in particular to the dedicated and loving staff on Willow Lane, for their care and commitment to our mother over the past four years.

A celebration of Sheila’s life will be held at a later date. Should you wish, donations to the Alzheimer Society would be appreciated.


For more information about this obituary visit

Filed Under: Ontario