Obituary of Lola A. MacDonald
Lola A. MacDonald passed away peacefully on January 10, 2020, at her apartment in Rye, New York. She was five weeks short of her ninety-third birthday. Lola Alfano was born in New York City on February 20, 1927, the sixth of nine children, to parents Michael and Concetta Bonavires Alfano. After graduating from high school, Lola took courses at Hunter College in Manhattan and in her twenties worked as an administrative assistant in the hospitality sector and as a sportswear buyer. It was while working at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel that she met her future husband—A. Bruce MacDonald, originally of Quincy, Massachusetts—whom she married in August 1953. They moved to Pelham and then Larchmont, where they raised their two children, Christopher and Mia. In Larchmont, Lola was active in the PTA and neighborhood endeavors and was chairperson of the Chatsworth Avenue School Carnival. In the mid-1970s, after some years as a homemaker, she opened Andiamo Boutique on Palmer Avenue in Larchmont, where she sold clothing, antiques, jewelry, and housewares. Unfortunately, several years later, Andiamo and a number of other shops on Palmer Avenue were destroyed by a fire. After that, Lola held a series of office and retail positions in Westchester, and worked for a couture fashion designer in Manhattan. She relocated to Rye, where she lived for more than thirty years. For nearly two decades she helped manage the educational programs and oversaw the office operations of the Center for Spiritual Development of the Catholic Archdiocese of New York, in Rye. The Center later relocated to Stepinac High School in White Plains, and Lola worked there into her early eighties until the Center ceased operations, after which she retired. Lola had a lifelong love of animals, particularly cats, with whom she always lived. She was passionately concerned about the less privileged and valued education and learning. She liked to read and listen to music, and appreciated fashion, ballet, theater, and tennis. She enjoyed gardening and travel, and possessed a well-developed sense of humor. Lola made an impression on just about everybody she met through her sense of style, her verve, her flair, and her distinctive way of speaking. Predeceased by her husbands, Bruce MacDonald and Amir Fazalbhoy, Lola was resilient, although the independence she valued was constrained after she fell twice and broke each of her hips. In the last years of her life, she benefited from the compassionate care of a number of dedicated home health aides. She was hospitalized just after Christmas 2019, and released in the first days of 2020 to in-home hospice through Calvary Hospital. She passed away after a week, on the evening of the full “wolf” moon. Lola is survived by her two children, three grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, an older sister, many nieces and nephews, their descendants, and Rosalind, the tabby cat. Donations in Lola’s memory can be made to the following charities: The Humane Society of Westchester (from which Rosalind was adopted) at 70 Portman Rd, New Rochelle, NY 10801; Positive Tales, P.O. Box 27192, Brooklyn, NY 11202 (which provides veterinary care for low-income and homeless New Yorkers and their companion animals); and Unbound—Scholarship Program, 1 Elmwood Avenue, Kansas City, KS 66103 (which provides educational scholarships to reduce poverty in Asia, Africa, and Latin America).