Michele McDonald is confirmed dead at the age of 67.
Michele was best known as a American model and beauty pageant contestant.
Michele Marlene McDonald-Boeke (June 26, 1952 – January 23, 2020) was an American nurse, model and beauty pageant titleholder. She won the Miss USA 1971 pageant and represented USA at the Miss Universe 1971 pageant, where she was one of the Semi-finalists.
Encouraged to enter the competition by her mother, McDonald won Miss Pennsylvania USA title in early May 1971. Later that month she then represented her state in the Miss USA pageant, held in Miami Beach, Florida. McDonald won the nationally televised pageant, becoming the first woman from Pennsylvania to win the title. The day after winning the pageant she and her parents visited President Richard Nixon and his wife Pat Nixon at their summer home at Key Biscayne.
After losing 10 pounds in a crash diet encouraged by Miss Universe officials, McDonald represented the United States in the Miss Universe 1971 pageant broadcast in July, also held in Miami. A chaperone said that the McDonald was close to exhaustion as a result of the diet and a doctor complained about the method. She advanced to the top fifteen in the pageant, which was won by Georgina Rizk of Lebanon.
At eighteen and a senior at Knoch High School, McDonald was the first high school student to win the pageant and the youngest winner in almost ten years. She missed her senior prom while competing in Miss USA and returned to Butler the weekend after winning the title to participate in her high school graduation, arriving from the airport in a motorcade and being greeted by thousands of people and dignitaries from her home town.
Prior to competing at Miss USA McDonald had never travelled out of Pennsylvania or flown in an airplane. During her reign she visited thirty states, and international locations such as Brazil and the Bahamas. She won $5000 in cash, a $5000 mink coat and $5000 in appearance fees as part of her prize package.
After passing on her title McDonald planned to attend nursing school. McDonald's high school boyfriend proposed to her in the last months of her reign.
In June 2018, Michele underwent a life-saving double lung transplant at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital.
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