Malcolm “Mac” Charles MacDonald

Malcolm “Mac” Charles MacDonald of Denmark, Maine, passed from this life on July 2, 2012 at Bridgton Hospital surrounded by his beloved family. Mac was an exceptionally bright but humble man. He was born Aug. 7, 1931 in North Tonawanda, N.Y. to Eva York, an English woman, and Joseph MacDonald, who was one of Maine’s first motorcycle State Policemen. Mac was raised in Gray, Maine and for a brief period in England. During the Korean War Mac served in the U.S. Navy and spent time in Panama, Cuba, Scotland and Norway. Upon his return he attended the University of Maine Orono on the GI Bill where he studied civil engineering and played on the baseball team. Early in his career he worked on the radar systems in Tully Greenland and the hundreds of photographs he took of icebergs and artic flora and fauna serve as proof. His expertise later became highways and bridges and his family often joked there wasn’t a major highway or bridge on the east coast that he hasn’t worked on.

Mac, who could read a book in 24 hours, often said he wished he had studied English in college because of his love of reading and writing. At the time of his death Mac was writing a historical novel about an ancestor, Abner MacDonald, who had traveled to Louisiana after the War of 1812 and left behind a collection of beautifully-written short stories. He was a man of diverse interests and was well read on many subjects, as evidenced by his ability to lead debates during family dinners, often extending the meals to several hours long. His passions were U.S., English and French history but one could never underestimate what he knew. His daughter learned her father’s depth of knowledge when she returned home from college thinking she finally knew something he did not. When she began to talk about Greek and Roman architecture she discovered her father could intelligently discuss the elements of architecture and name all the types of columns. Mac was also an avid Red Sox fan and summers will be quiet without him coaching the Sox from his chair in front of the television.

Mac was also a lifelong hunter and outdoorsman. His son Nate and his grandsons Jacob and Samuel will miss him at the annual trip to the hunting camp where every evening the day’s sightings were shared about what wildlife had been seen. Mac had not shot anything in over 30 years and instead turned his observations into the hobby of wildlife painting in his 60s, winning several ribbons at his first exhibit in the Maine Sportsman Show. Mac also enjoyed building stone walls and terraces. He was always looking for the perfect stone. In recent years he had focused on moss gardens. He was passionate about politics and played online chess, sometimes up to 12 games at a time. In the last year he had won an online chess tournament, beating a Russian opponent. He could also pick the cleanest bucket of blueberries in the family of which he was proud.

He belonged to the Maine Historical Society and was a member of the Masons. His presence is already sorely missed by his wife of 53 years, Sylvia Davis MacDonald; his daughter Lorinda MacDonald of Portland; sons John of Portland and Nathan MacDonald and daughter-in-law Lori of Poland; and his grandchildren Samuel and Nathaniel Katz, Jacob, Malcolm, Davis, Sylvia and Victoria MacDonald. He also leaves behind his sister Jane Donnell of Mystic, Conn., cousins Roy McDonald and Doris Morrison of Gray; and numerous nephews and nieces.

A private celebration of life ceremony will be held for family and personal friends of Mac’s.

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