Alden J. McDonald, Jr., Rhesa O. McDonald,
Dr. Michael Lomax
excited to be going there. But then, my dad,
being a civil rights lawyer, said the schools
are being integrated and I needed to be one
of the ones doing it at Ursuline.
“I certainly didn’t want to go by myself so
we asked two of my friends and their families
to get together with us and talk about
it. They decided we would all go together
and we did.”
Rhesa described the experience as feeling
“very isolated, but it got better as we went
along.” At first the three girls were escorted
by New Orleans Police officers but after a
month or so, the security measure was no
longer necessary, she said. She graduated
Ursuline in 1966 and went on to Xavier
University where she graduated with a
B.A. degree in Elementary Education.
Over the next 21 years she taught at three
New Orleans elementary schools. Today
she serves on Ursuline’s board of directors.
Most of all, Rhesa is the proud mother
of three children, all of whom are accomplished
in their respective professions.
The couple’s daughter, Heidi, is the Chief
Gregory M. Aymond
Rhesa O. McDonald
of Staff at Texas Southern
University, and their oldest
son, Alden McDonald III
(nicknamed “Chip”), is a
cardiologist in Oakland,
California. Their youngest
son, Todd, is Senior
Jonathan Slocum, The Honorable Mitchell Landrieu, Alden J.
McDonald, Jr., Rhesa O. McDonald and Dr. Michael Lomax
Vice President and a board
member at Liberty Bank
& Trust. Rhesa is also the
doting, loving grandmother
of seven grandchildren with
an eighth on the way.
“We certainly are very blessed,” Rhesa
proudly stated. “We try to learn from each
other and just enjoy each day we have.
We’re all together at Christmas and Mardi
Gras and we go on a family trip every year.
My husband and I enjoy traveling together
In addition, Rhesa’s mother, now in her
90s, is still leading an active life. “I’m very
blessed to have my mama around. She’s 95
years old. We live with her and she still
cooks. She, too, has been an inspiration to
Rhesa O. McDonald and Alden J. McDonald, Jr.
me my whole life. She taught school for
26 years and inspired me to do likewise.
She also taught me how to budget my time
between my family and the community.”
Continuing, Rhesa added, “We are
blessed with very good friends. They are
really family – extended family. I think it’s
so important to have such good friends that
you can count on, no matter what and to
have family that’s so supportive.”
PHOTOS COURTESY OF ALDEN MCDONALD
Alden J. McDonald, Jr., Crystal D. Smith,
Rhesa O. McDonald and Todd O. McDonald
Todd O. McDonald, Rhesa O. McDonald
and Alden J. McDonald, Jr.
Joseph A. Canizaro, Rhesa O. McDonald
and Alden J. McDonald, Jr.
18 | BREAKTHRU MEDIA | breakthrumediamagazine.com N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9