Cover photo for John McDonald, Jr.'s Obituary
1933 John "Mac" 2023

John McDonald, Jr.

January 31, 1933 — January 17, 2023

Cannon Falls

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.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John McDonald, Jr., please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, May 30, 2023

9:00 - 10:00am (Central time)

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Mass of Christian Burial

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

10:00 - 11:00am (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Interment with military honors

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Starts at 1:30pm (Central time)

Fort Snelling National Cemetery

7601 34th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55450

Arrive at 1:15pm

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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