December 23, 1923 ~ March 8, 2023

Born in: Brooklyn, NY
Resided in: Indianapolis, IN

Winona (McDonald) Gajadhar age 99, of Indianapolis, Indiana, died on March 8, 2023 at home with loved ones. Winona was born on December 23, 1923 in Coney Island Hospital (Brooklyn, NY) to Ernest McDonald and Luella (Vaughn) McDonald. Her mother and father brought nine children into the world, starting with the oldest to the youngest: Ernest, Vivienne, Gloria, Winona, Robert, Marie, Juanita, Delores, and Yvonne. In 1935, she moved with her family to Jamaica, NY where she attended Public School 40 and later attended Newtown High School; upon graduating in 1941, she received her high school diploma with a concentration in Commercial Arts, and then began work at Bulova Watch Company (Queens, NY). In 1943, she went on the road as a tap dancer duo with her cousin Leota. After returning home from her dancing tour, she decided to leave show business, but continued as a performer with her extraordinary singing voice, where she sang acapella at various private events, family gatherings, and with close friends. Her favorite songs were “You’ll Never Walk Alone”; “I’ll Get Along Somehow”; and “Route 66” to name a few. In deciding what path to take in her life, she chose to work in the health field in order to help others; as a result, she worked at Triborough Hospital (Queens, NY) as a Nurse’s Aide; later, she enrolled at Queens College (Queens, NY) and attained her Associate Degree in Nursing, and became a Registered Nurse. In 1961, she worked at College Point Nursing Home (Queens, NY) as an Administrative Assistant. In 1962, she purchased her childhood home in Jamaica, NY where she lived with her three amazing children (starting with: Ramon, Zelda, and finally Michael) with whom she had from two previous marriages that ended in divorce. In 1972, she bought a second home in Laurelton, NY and moved there with her three children. While still working as an Administrative Assistant, she also worked at Long Island Jewish Hospital in Long Island, NY as a Per-Diem Nurse – whereby, she did part-time night shift work; in addition, she became a landlady at her two-family house in Jamaica, NY. In 1973, she married her beloved, Andrew Gajadhar from Trinidad, W.I.; together, they both enjoyed traveling abroad. Sadly, in 1982, she became a widow when her husband Andrew, was shot and killed by a robber. In 1985, she attended The New School for Social Research in Manhattan, NY and graduated with a Master’s Degree in Gerontology. After graduating, she worked and later retired from Clara Barton High School in Manhattan, NY as a Nursing Teacher. In 2008, she moved to Indianapolis, IN, where she joined her youngest sister, Yvonne. Winona’s final resting place is in the family estate mausoleum at Washington Park East Cemetery in Indianapolis, IN. In addition to her mother, father and husband; she was preceded in death by her two brothers, Ernest McDonald and Robert McDonald; and five sisters, Vivienne Evans, Gloria Brown, Marie Curtis and Delores Morgan; she is survived by her three children: Ramon L. Mabry, Zelda R. Duval and Michael A. Cimato; nephews, nieces, grand-children, great grand-children, and two of her surviving sisters: Juanita Beckford and Yvonne Trenchard. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the American Heart Association


Graveside Service: March 15, 2023 11:00 am

Washington Park East Cemetery
10612 E. Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN 46229

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  1. I love you Grandma. You were and always will be such an amazing woman and an inspiration to many. Thank you for everything. I love you.

  2. Ty mom it was a pleasure to have met and known you you had such an amazing spirit and heart and caring for people and style too I Remember many of your stories and dance you sure loved your dancing and clothes and jewelry you had that style you was kind to me and my son and welcome me into your home and I always will appreciate that heaven sure has a true angel rest in peace mom

  3. Had to add too I remember when we went to the groove in east village and mom sung sing route 66 she had a standing ovation by crowd and they handed her flowers she was amazing dance away mom rip

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