Yvonne (Welch) McDougall, Navy WAVE

Interview with Yvonne McDougall by Kevin Callahan
Written Transcripts of Oral History Interviews of 



This project has been made possible by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on November 4, 2008. Administered by the Minnesota Historical Society.
(Below: Jackie, Von, and Jim at the 8th AFHS-Mn)

Yvonne Marie McDougall

McDougall, Yvonne Marie (Welch) Age 93, of Minnetonka, passed away peacefully surrounded by her loving family on Jan. 6, 2015. Yvonne "Von" was born in Boone, Iowa Dec. 24, 1921 to LeRoy and Beatrice Welch. She graduated from St. Mary's Catholic High School in Marshalltown, IA where she was the first ever editor of the school newspaper. After high school, she went to Des Moines, IA to attend AIB College of Business. While in Des Moines, she met the love of her life, James R. "Jim" McDougall. During WWII Von joined the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) a division of the U.S. Navy, where she attained the rank of SKD 2nd Class Petty Officer. She served at Camp Elliot in San Diego, CA. In 1946, after the war, Von and Jim married and attended Yankton College in Yankton, SD and South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD on the GI Bill. Von majored in Journalism. Von and Jim eventually settled in Minnesota in 1955. While raising her six children, Von also worked as a teacher's aide in the Excelsior Montessori Preschool Program and as a sales consultant at Dayton's in Mpls. She volunteered at St. Therese Church in Deephaven, her children's schools, Girl Scouts and in various other capacities. Von always had an adventurous spirit and enjoyed traveling with Jim to such destinations as The British Isles, Ukraine, Poland, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Jamaica, Alaska and Hawaii. Von's husband Jim was employed at Cargill with the Feed Division for 33 years, retiring in 1988. Von, along with Jim, volunteered frequently for various service projects through Cargill Cares Retirees, such as Feed My Starving Children and the Salvation Army Bell Ringers. First and foremost, Von was a wonderful wife of 67 years and a devoted mother of six. She always put her family first and was known for her beautiful spirit, sweet, patient disposition and her gentle, loving nature. She maintained a keen sense of humor and Irish wit throughout her life. A twinkle in her eye and an engaging smile were her trademarks. She will be dearly missed by so many. Survived by husband, Jim; children, Dana (Frank) Audrain, Betsy McDougall-Gibbs, Jayne (Tim) Neal, Jackie (Brian) Seemann, Sandy (Lee) LaTourelle, and Jamie (Lucy) McDougall; 17 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; sisters, Gerrie Allen and Patsy (John) Ferneau; many sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews, other loving relatives and friends. The family would like to thank the staff at The Colony Transitional Care Unit in Eden Prairie and Park Nicollet Hospice for their excellent and compassionate care. Memorial Service 6 PM Mon., Jan. 12 at the Cremation Society of MN, 7110 France Ave S., Edina (952-924-4100). Visitation 5 PM. In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to Feed My Starving Children, 401 93rd Ave. NW, Coon Rapids, MN. 55433. Memorial Mass and interment of ashes will be held in LeMars, IA summer of 2015.

Published on January 11, 2015