Retired Naval Lieutenant Commander John L. McDonald, Jr., also known to many as “Mac”, age 89 of Bradenton, FL, and Cannon Falls, MN, died peacefully at his Cannon Falls home on Tuesday, January 17, 2023.
John was born on January 31, 1933 in Cortez, FL, a fishing village, the son of John Sr. and Mamie “Ruth” (Bonnell) McDonald. He graduated from Manatee County High School in Bradenton, FL in 1951, later serving with the US Navy during the Korean and Vietnam wars, retiring after 25 years.
He married Rosalie Wachtler on January 4, 1958 at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Mendota, MN.
While living in Florida, he was a founding member of the Manatee County Maritime Museum and the Cortez Cultural Center. A lifelong land and sea conservationist, John converted fields to a tree farm, planting conifer, walnut, and oak trees, planting shade for future generations. He was a life-long learner with sustained interest, curiosity, and the innovative ideas of self and others.
He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Rosalie “Robin”; children, Kathleen McDonald of Red Wing, Susan McDonald-Conroy (Kevin Conroy) of Trempealeau, WI, Cynthia (Todd) Sutherland of Windsor, CO, and John J. (Amy) McDonald of Wanamingo; 9 grandchildren, Dan, Ellen, and Jen Conroy, Clifton, Eve, and Hugh Sutherland, McKayla, Kiara, and Tyson Johnston; sisters, Jane Treglown of Port Saint Joe, FL and Joyce (Leslie “Sonny”) Davis of Morehead City, NC; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Joseph; and sisters, Jacqueline Mofield and Judith Augsburger.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Tuesday, May 30 at 10am, with visitation from 9-10am, at St. Pius V Catholic Church, Cannon Falls. Interment with military honors will follow at Fort Snelling National Cemetery at 1:30pm. Honorary urn bearers will be his grandchildren.
A celebration of life with a seafood dinner will be held in Cortez, FL on Monday, April 24 at 5pm at the Star Fish Company at the Cortez docks.
In lieu of flowers, gifts to Brighton Hospice, 2010 Jefferson Rd., Suite D, Northfield, MN 55057 or Cortez Village Historical Society, 1655 Cortez Rd. W., PO Box 663, Cortez, FL 34215 would be meaningful.