Donogh McCutcheon Phillips

Donogh McCutcheon Phillips

Donogh M. Phillips died suddenly following a heart attack May 25, 2012 in Anacortes, Wash. She and her husband, Ted, had been Lopez Island weekenders for 14 years prior to being residents from 1988 to 2008, before moving to Timber Ridge at Talus in Issaquah, Wash.

Donogh was born in Fargo, North Dakota, June 5, 1933, to Frederick Harold and Alene Elizabeth (Bratton) McCutcheon. Leaving Fargo at age three months, she lived in Raleigh and Beaufort, North Carolina, through her early school years, and in Media, Pa., through high school and college. She and Ted met in 1951 during freshman orientation week at Swarthmore College, near Philadelphia. They married in Swarthmore in June 1956. She had by then earned a master’s degree in education at Goucher College in Maryland, and Ted had completed one year of medical school at Johns Hopkins. She taught fifth grade in the Baltimore County public school system before beginning a westward migration to Ohio, Colorado, and Alaska for Ted’s further training and subsequent practice in Sitka. With three elementary school-age children by this time, she came to Bellevue, Wash., in 1970 when Ted became the founding chairman of the University of Washington Department of Family Medicine.

Donogh was a devoted wife, homemaker, mother of three, and grandmother of five, but always a student, teacher, and actress. She studied subjects from religion and ethics to modern physics. The night before she died she had attended the final session in a political science course at the Anacortes Senior College. She began her community theater acting career during grade school through college and was very active in the Baranof Little Theatre Guild in Sitka, Alaska. She was proud of her last role in a short movie created, directed, and produced for her 70th birthday by her son, Scott. It was shown at two international film festivals in Los Angeles and Brazil and ran on television in Florida.

As an educator, she taught elementary through Elder hostel students. In Bellevue, she served on the Superintendent’s Citizens School Advisory Committee and was especially proud of drafting the Student Rights and Responsibilities Policy for the district as well as working to establish Learning Options in the system. Combining her acting and teaching skills, she simulated patients for first year medical students beginning to learn how to interview, and more importantly, listen to patients. For several years she recruited patient volunteers in the hospital for those students to elicit medical histories and then debriefed both students and patients after the interviews.

On Lopez Island she was proud to be one of the first women members of the Lions Club. She enjoyed decorating and opening her home for hundreds of children and their parents to trick or treat at Halloween. She may be remembered for organizing fashion shows and a fundraising chili cook off for the Lopez Center for Community and the Arts. She fulfilled a life long dream, learning to tap dance and performing in recitals at age 65.

Donogh leaves behind her brother, Bruce, in Beaufort North Carolina; husband, Ted, in Issaquah; daughter Beth and grand daughter Alene in Studio City, Calif.; son Scott (Kathy) and grandsons Brandon and Parker in Billings, Montana. In the Seattle area are son Kent (Kelley), grand daughter Megan, and grandson Spencer.

At her request there will be no memorial service, but the family will be gathering privately in late June. She urged everyone to “just have a party.”

Those wishing to contribute in her memory are encouraged to support the many local charitable organizations on Lopez Island.