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Kate W. McDonald

Kate W. McDonald

Jun 16, 1985 - Nov 28, 2021

Kate W. McDonald - Obituary


atherine Wilckens McDonald, known by most as Kate, was born to Dr. John and Mrs. Peggy Wilckens on Father’s Day, June 16, 1985 in San Diego, CA. She and her 2 older brothers, CJ and Matt, lived a typical Navy Family life, with moves from San Diego, to Guantanamo Bay Cuba, to Indianapolis, to Camp LeJeune, NC (Operations Desert Shield/Storm) and then to Hawaii. In Hawaii, Kate was joined by 2 adopted siblings from Russia, Andy and Tanya. Upon moving to Annapolis in 1997, she attended Annapolis Area Christian High School where she was an outstanding student and vicious outside hitter in volleyball. Kate obtained her Bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland, majoring in Kinesiology. In Annapolis she met her Soulmate, Andrew McDonald, a Physics major at the Academy (class of 2007) who also rowed for the Heavyweight Crew Team. Everyone knew that the relationship had become serious when Kate changed her plans to start her professional life in San Diego and stayed in Annapolis until Andrew moved to flight school in Pensacola, FL. They were married in 2008 at the USNA Chapel and soon began their life together in Pensacola, where Andrew was attending Naval Flight Training. While wrapping up flight training, Kate gave birth to Elizabeth. From the care and patience that constantly exuded from her, anyone could tell that she was made more complete by the title “mommy.” After Elizabeth joined them, they had moved to Guam, with deployments to Iraq and the West Pacific. Out there, Kate earned the title of Navy Spouse, birthing Sean while Andrew was deployed, managing the home, and even staying sane through the support and love of some of her greatest friends in this life. The next 2 sets of orders were to Norfolk, VA, which included more deployments on the USS Bataan. Even with all these moves and changes, Kate not only supported the family, drove the social calendar, managed a 100-year-old home, and cared for the kids, she also carried and welcomed Patrick. Again, the love spread and shared by Kate continues to yield fruit to this day. After Andrew picked up Department Head orders, Kate and Family relocated to Atsugi, Japan, with more West Pacific deployments. During the brief stay there, Kate made the best of it - as she always did. Kate swiftly found a group of supporting and loving friends from the various spouse's clubs of the commands on base. Despite the growing fatigue and other symptoms, she volunteered as a part of the base’s Catholic Faith Community. Throughout her life, Kate continued her drive to support and care for those who needed it most. While in Atsugi, Kate developed a significant cough, and was med-evaced to Walter Reed Hospital in Bethesda, MD. She was diagnosed with Stage 4 Renal Cell Carcinoma. The Oncology teams at Walter Reed and Johns Hopkins gave Kate an aggressive Immuno-therapy treatment regimen. Kate took that opportunity to buy and renovate a beautiful home in Amberly, situating her Family for a stable life ahead. Throughout her fight with the cancer that would ultimately take her life, she remained hopeful, loving, patient, and forgiving to those around her. And during this time, Kate was lifted up and encouraged by her many, many friends. On November 14th, Kate was admitted to Walter Reed with acute shortness of breath, necessitating intubation. 14 days later, with no further interventions indicated, Kate was extubated and was blessed with a grace-filled moment with her Family. Kate was the consummate Navy wife, Mom, daughter and sister. She was a great source of help, consoling words, inspiration, and grace to so many of her friends. She was the toughest individual, shouldering at times what appeared to be an unbearable load - yet she would do it with ease. She lived a gallant, focused 2 years with her treatment, making the most of EVERY opportunity with her family and friends. Much like St Theresa of Lisieux, she did small things with great LOVE. She is survived by her loving husband, Andrew, her children, Elizabeth, Sean, and Patrick, both her parents, and all her siblings. Kate’s funeral mass will be celebrated at St. Andrew by the Bay, 701 College Parkway. Annapolis, MD 21409 on December 17, 2021 at 9:00am (EST). A livestream will be available for those unable to attend. Interment will follow, at 11:00am, at the United States Naval Acadamy Cemetery. There will be a reception following the burial at a location TBD. If you’re planning to attend Kate’s services, please let us know by filling out the link HERE. You can also RSVP by sending an email to Amanda at amanda.haupt@outlook.com or calling/texting Christina at 202-763-1938. COVID Disclaimer for those attending services: Due to the global dispersion of those who love Kate dearly, please plan on masking for the Funeral Mass. No masks will be required for the outdoor burial. Finally, if you are unwell or symptomatic, please do not attend. The funeral mass will be live-streamed and your prayers/thoughts will be felt by those present. Online condolences may be made using the Memories tab on this page.