On Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017, Barbara “Jean” (McCatherin) McDonald passed away peacefully at Quarry Hill Memory Care Unit in Camden. She was 80 years young.

She was born in Lewiston to Dougald Stewart and Emma Mary (Gaudin) McCatherin. The family lived in Auburn until Jean was 8 years old, and then moved to Augusta.

At a very early age in Auburn, Jean developed a passion for dance. In Augusta, she performed in many local shows, including Horace Heidt Show, Elks Frolics, and Cony High School’s Chizzle Wizzle. She graduated from Cony High School in 1955, and then started the McCatherin School of Dance in Augusta. Over a four-year period, she built her dance school to more than 200 students. During this time, she was a participant at the Jack Stanley and June Taylor School of Dance in New York City. At the age of 36, while living at the Coast Guard base on Governors Island, N.Y., Jean launched and operated a dance school for six years. She was a member of the National Association of Dance and Affiliated Arts.

In 1959, she married the love of her life, James Lane McDonald of Hallowell. Jim graduated from the Coast Guard Academy as an officer in 1959 and together they started a family and a life of travel and adventure. This included raising five children and making 17 moves to places including Portland, Kodiak, Alaska, New London, Conn., Monterey, Calif., Governors Island, N.Y.; Boston and London, England, to name a few.

Jean reveled in being a military wife. She was an enthusiastic participant in the Officers’ Wives Club wherever they were stationed. As president of the Boston Officers’ Wives Club, she was honored by the commandant of the Coast Guard with the Order of the Golden Swivel Shot. This significant recognition exemplified her unwavering support for her husband’s career.

Even with all of their travels, Maine was always home. In 1969, they purchased a cottage on the ocean in Spruce Head, and treasured their summers there. It was a focal point for wonderful family gatherings filled with joy and laughter. The cottage became their year-round home in 2014.

She is survived by her husband of 58 years James Lane McDonald; five children, James L. Jr. (Althea), Julie Anne (Ross), Jeffrey, Jane (Susan) and John (Kelly). Jean will also be fondly remembered by her six grandchildren, Audrey, Katie, Jenni, Nicole, Joanna and John Jr.; by her two brothers, John P. McCatherin and Charles S. McCatherin; and sister Keltie J. Collins. She was predeceased by her sister Carol Martin.

Donations may be made to: United States Coast Guard Academy Alumni Association, 47 Mohegan Ave., New London, CT 06320-8111 in memory of Barbara Jean McDonald.

A celebration of Barbara Jean’s life will be held Tuesday, Dec. 19, at 11 a.m., with a reception to follow at Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral home, 110 Limerock St., Rockland.

For those who will not be able to attend, a livestream of the service can be viewed at http://bchfh.com/. Memories and pictures of Barbara Jean may also be posted at this site.