Ida Margaret McRonald (nee Magness) was born on October 2, 1930 and died of leukemia in Verdugo Hills Hospital on May 26, 2013.
She was born in Crumlin, a small town in Wales. Her parents were Stephen Lester Magness and Ethel (Watkins) Magness. As a young child, Ida moved with her parents and two brothers (Andrew and Bill) to Deal, a popular holiday resort near Dover in Kent on the southeast coast of England.
When World War II broke out in September 1939, she went to live with her grandmother in Crumlin as an evacuee. At the end of the war, she returned to Deal, finished school, and at age 18 enrolled as a trainee Registered Nurse at Folkestone Hospital. Following graduation as an RN, she was employed at Reading Hospital from 1951 to 1954.
In 1953, she met her future husband, Angus McRonald, a physicist from Scotland working at the nearby Atomic Weapons Research Institute. Married in 1954, they sailed to Adelaide, Australia via the Suez Canal. Her family grew in Australia, with the births of her son and daughter. In 1962, the family moved to Sydney, Australia, where they lived in the beach town of Cronulla. In December 1954 they sailed back to Britain, where her husband was employed at the National Physical Laboratory. Ida worked as an RN in Adelaide, in Sydney, and in England during these years.
In August 1965, the family came to the La Canada area, where her husband worked at JPL until 2000. Ida worked in intensive care at Glendale Adventist Hospital from 1971 through 1974, became a Registered Nurse in California, and in 1974 was offered a post at Verdugo Hills Hospital in charge of the Sixth Floor (then Orthopedics and Pediatrics). She loved interacting with patients and their families and visitors, fellow nurses, doctors, hospital staff, and volunteers. In the seventies, VHH was one of the leading hospitals to introduce computer use, and Ida gave an invited paper on that subject at a conference at Oxford University in England. After retiring from VHH in 1990, she was the Public Representative on the VHH Bio Ethics Committee, until her death.
All who knew Ida noted her friendly disposition and her willingness to assist where she could. Always a loving wife and mother, she leaves her husband Angus of 58 years, a son Andrew in Portland, Oregon, and her daughter Carol in La Canada.
Ida was a happy, loving person who enjoyed music throughout her life, gardening, and dancing. Her one regret was that she did not have a strong singing voice in the Welsh tradition. She also loved to travel – enjoying cruises and many visits to relatives in England, Scotland, Wales, Australia and New Zealand, and to many European countries as well as places in the USA.
In recent years, she was active with the CalTech-JPL Retirees, going on many trips, and with the Pasadena Womens’ Club.
Funeral services will be held at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, at the Wee Kirk o’ the Heather, at 1712 S. Glendale Avenue, Glendale, CA 91205 on Saturday, June 8, 2013 at 9 AM.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Verdugo Hills Hospital at 1812 Verdugo Boulevard, Glendale, CA 91208, in memory of Ida McRonald, or to the American Cancer Society at www.cancer.org.
We will miss her.