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Magreta Hite McDonald


Magreta Hite McDonald (Reta) September 29, 1936 – May 8, 2019

Magreta grew up in East Jordan, MI and was a graduate of Central Lake High School. In September 1955, she entered Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC. She graduated with a B.S. Degree in Elementary Education. She also served on the staff at the university for several years.

Two important events took place in those years. On April 28, 1955, Reta came to understand that Jesus Christ made a way to be certain of heaven. A dear friend led her in praying and asking for forgiveness of sin, trusting in Jesus as her Savior; what the Bible calls being “born again.” At that moment, Jesus became the master of her life. On April 22, 1956, on a first date, she dated Morris McDonald, who became her mate for life.

Over many pleasant years, Reta took on the role of pastor’s wife. Their ministry took them to Lakeland, FL, Greenville, SC, Cherry Hill, NJ, Nashville, TN and finally to Palm Harbor, FL in June, 2000.

In God’s design, there were no children in their family. So Reta made up her love for children by becoming involved in the ministry of Child Evangelism in Polk County, FL, then in teaching children in their various churches. The surprise came after 19 years of marriage – Jonathan Hite McDonald was born on August 28, 1980. Jonathan is a fine Christian who oversees the media ministry of Suncoast Bible Presbyterian Church.

She enjoyed two trips to the Holy Land as part of a group, directed by Morris. A highlight each year was to travel to the various sites of the annual general synod of the Bible Presbyterian Church.

Reta’s five brothers and sisters pre-deceased her, except for Ruthie Siedlecki who resides in MI.

Following heart and kidney complications and a brief stay in hospice, Reta was transferred  by the angels into the presence of Jesus Christ at 5:20 p.m., May 8, 2019. Morris and Reta were married for 57 years.

A memorial service will be held at Suncoast Bible Presbyterian Church on Sunday, May 19 at 4 p.m. The church is located at 975 County Road 1, Palm Harbor, FL 34683. 727-787-2086, macpmu@gmail.com.

Memorial gifts will go to the children in the Rendille area of Kenya, East Africa; an area that has been without rain for 2 years. The Baalah Bible Presbyterian Church and School provide for 430 children in that area.

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  • Cathy Barnes says:

    My heartfelt sympathy. I am so glad I got to know Reta, she meant so much to my Mom, Nancy Pope, and Step Dad, Joseph Pope. Now they are all together in Heaven. Keeping Pastor Morris and Jonathan in my prayers.

  • Cammie Pinney Anderson says:

    Deepest sympathies to the Hite McDonald family. You will be missed Aunt Reta. Sending love & prayers to everyone ❤

  • Mary "Tricia" Foster says:

    My heart is saddened by the news of ritas passing on into glory but I know hers is full of joy as she met her king and saviour. We are praying for you guys during this difficult time.
    Sincerely,
    Tricia, joshua and family.

  • Mary LeVerne Herdle says:

    My heart felt sympathy to Morris and Jonathan on Reta’s home going. We shared many wonderful tomes together, there are so many memories! Looking forward to seeing her again one day!

  • Jack Winter says:

    Oh Morris, I am so sorry. As you know, we share this heart wrenching experience, only a few months apart. You are in my prayers, I know exactly what you’re going through and I will hold you up as you grieve.

  • Brad Gsell says:

    I remember Reta well since I was a teenager and through the years ever since. She always displayed the joy of the Lord. I enjoyed working together with her in keeping the minutes and preparing all the messages for print, etc., at the Bible Presbyterian Synods. Sheila and I admire the cross-stitch of 1 Corinthians 13 she made and gave to us as a wedding gift in 1982. It has hung in our several homes ever since. So glad that I was able to visit Morris, Reta and Jonathan at their home in Palm Harbor within the last few years.

  • Howard Carlson says:

    We worked alongside Reta for years, as she faithfully kept Presbyterian Missionary Union records and matters in order. She was a faithful woman, loyal to her family and the church. May God bless her husband and son, who depended upon her steadfastness.

  • Mary Frances Kirkpatrick says:

    Prayers for comfort and peace for Pastor Morris McDonald and son Jonathan McDonald. Reta was so kind to me. I will always remember and be thankful for her personal notes of encouragement and love. She always had a ear to listen anytime I would stop at the Manse, knock on the back door, and see her in her blue chair. “Come on in!” She would say! Thank you Reta! May you be for ever be in our hearts until we meet again in Heaven!

  • Ron and Martine Deer says:

    We are saddened for your loss, but rejoice in Heavens gain. We only have known you for such a short time, but fell in love with her the moment we met. If there is anything we can do, please let us know. You are in our prayers. The Deers

  • Karen Pine says:

    My prayers are with you, Morris and Jonathan. May the LORD grant you great peace and comfort. Thankful to know Reta and her smile. So thankful she is now at ultimate peace with Christ.

  • Samuel Vitalino says:

    The few times I saw Reta, I had the same feeing of being before a woman of God. Always smiling and displaying gentleness and care.
    My friend Morris and Jonathan, please accept our love and prayers.
    We love you deeply in Christ.
    Vitalinos

  • StevenSusan Sudlow says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Reta was the sweetest lady I’ve known with a heart full of kindness and she always remembered us and asked about us despite any ailments she had. She truly had a heart for others that showed in all her kind deeds and words. She let the light of Jesus shine in her life. It was a privilege to call her friend.

  • Becky Enterline says:

    The Lord blessed me as a young person through Reta, and I will always be grateful. Her husband invited me to their church in Greenville, SC when I was a senior in high school. A number of churches were recommended to me, but theirs was the most personable. More than once and on different kinds of occasions I experienced the warm hospitality of the McDonald’s dinner table. May the Lord fill the void Rita is leaving with His grace, strength and consolation in the lives of her dear Morris and Jonathan.

  • Nanci MacDonald says:

    My most vivid memories of Reta were when my father and I visited Morris and her in Lakeland Florida and we went out to lunch one day and there was a baby at one of the tables and Reta looked so lovingly and wistfully at the baby and we all knew how much she wanted to have a child. Little did she suspect that that miracle would eventually happen and SuperBoy was born! Fast forward to my sister’s wedding on Cape Cod when we were all staying in the same motel and Reta was running around trying to keep up with Jonathan! I am happy she had such a fantastic marriage and she was able to do so much for the church. My thoughts and prayers will be with Morris and Jonathan at this time.