Mollie Lee McDonald
CALABASAS, CA - Mollie Lee McDonald, 79, passed away Saturday, February 2, 2019, in her home in Calabasas, CA.
Born on February 17, 1939, in Petersburg, VA to John and Pattie (Barclift) McDonald, Mollie Graduated from Petersburg High School in 1956. She attended Sweet Briar College, graduating in 1960 with an emphasis in mathematics. On June 20, 1959, she married Evans Brasfield in Petersburg. She received her Master’s Degree in Special Education from the University of Virginia in 1975 and taught at Douglas Freeman High School in Henrico County, VA. After her divorce in 1975, she moved to Charlotte, NC where she continued her teaching at Winthrop College in Rock Hill, SC. In 1979, she gave up teaching for advertising and formed McD Enterprises, which she ran until her retirement in 2005. In 2007, she moved across the country to California, first settling in Burbank, then Calabasas, where she lived for the rest of her life.
Mollie was whip-smart, strong-willed, confident, feisty, opinionated, and stubborn – and her friends loved her for it. A strong, independent woman ahead of her time, Mollie successfully reinvented herself on several occasions, as a graduate student, a single mom, a teacher, and a businesswoman. Among her many passions were writing, photography, her cats, and most of all, gardening. She spent years transforming the woods behind her Charlotte house into a woodland garden, culminating in excellence when her efforts were featured in the annual Charlotte Garden Club tour.
Mollie was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, John E. McDonald, Jr. She is survived by her sons, Evans Booker Brasfield, Jr. and John McDonald Brasfield; her daughter, Elizabeth Lee Brasfield; their families, including Karin Rainey Brasfield; and her grandchildren, Anne Burton, Ian Brasfield, Georgia Brasfield, and Minna Brasfield.
Per Mollie’s request, there will be no services. However, in tribute to Mollie, we ask that donations be made in her honor to Winghaven Gardens in Charlotte, NC, designating the funds specifically to the Elizabeth Lawrence House and Garden ( https://winghavengardens. org/ elh-overview/ ). This was a garden where Mollie spent many years with her friend, Mary Lindemann “Lindie” Wilson, painstakingly preserving this beautiful horticultural Charlotte landmark. She would have also appreciated your donations to ECAC, the Exceptional Children’s Assistance Center ( https://www.ecacparentcenter.org/ ), an advocacy group that Mollie worked for tirelessly. ECAC is dedicated to empowering families and improving lives for those families raising children with disabilities, assuring them of receiving the special education and healthcare they need.
Those of us who loved Mollie will keep her legacy strong. We are thankful to have her writings, her recipes, and life lessons – but most of all, the knowledge that it is never too late to reinvent yourself.