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Former Ridgefield Resident Joan Elizabeth Mac Donald, 87, has Died

Joan Elizabeth Mac Donald

Joan Elizabeth (Seyfried) Mac Donald, 87, formerly of Ridgefield, passed away at Filosa Nursing and Rehabilitation in Danbury on May 24, 2019, after an eight year struggle with dementia.

Joan was born in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 14, 1931 to Oscar and Evelyn (Robert) Seyfried. She was educated in Washington, and graduated from Immaculata Junior College with a degree in Home Economics.

A life-long performer and teacher, Joan started taking tap and ballet lessons at the age of three. She also studied Hawaiian dancing with the world famous Momi-kai. She started teaching dance at age 16. Over the years, she performed as a traveling Rockette, at USO shows, and in half-time shows at Washington Redskins games.

After dating in junior high, high school and college, Joan married Robert Mac Donald in 1954. In June, they would have celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary. They had three children: Carrie, Craig and Kyle.

In 1970, Joan opened her own dance studio in her Westmoreland home. Her first class was made up of eight children. Over the years, she grew the studio to more than 400 students from age three to adult. Many of her students became third generation dancers at the studio. Her adult group of tap dancers won national awards, and some continue to dance more than 35 years later.

In 1972, Ridgefield Parks & Recreation asked Joan to open a dance program, which she ran for 28 years until her retirement in 1999. Later, her daughter Carrie joined as a partner, forming the MacDonald-Pin dancers. The annual recital was known for its outstanding dancing and high production value. Joan regularly arranged for her dancers to perform at area nursing homes, senior centers and town events.

She and Bob were very active in St. Mary’s Catholic Church for 34 years, including as Eucharistic Ministers. Joan spent the last eight years at Filosa Nursing and Rehabilitation facility in Danbury.

Joan is survived by her husband Robert Mac Donald of Danbury, CT; children Carrie Pin and husband Gregory Pin of Danbury, CT, Craig Mac Donald and wife Linda (Gray) Mac Donald of Brentwood, NH, and Kyle Potvin and husband Glen Potvin of Derry, NH; grandchildren Adam, Erik, Karina and Allegra Pin; Dylan, Maddy and Duncan Mac Donald; and Jack and Jeff Potvin.

A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Wednesday, May 29th at10:15am in St. Mary’s Church, 55 Catoonah Street, Ridgefield with the Rev. David Franklin officiating.

Interment will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Ridgefield.

Friends will be received on Tuesday, May 28th, from 4pm-7pm at Kane Funeral Home, 25 Catoonah Street, Ridgefield, CT, 06877.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Dana Farber Cancer Institute or to St. Mary Church, 55 Catoonah St., Ridgefield for Pro-Life.

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