William (Bill) E. McDonald – 88
Bill (known also as “Mac” to many of his friends and family) passed away peacefully in San Francisco on Friday, October 2, 2020 with his wife and son by his side. He was born February 20, 1932 in Columbus, Ohio, the son of the late Paul and Ethel McDonald, and raised in New Lexington, Ohio.
As a boy in the early 1940s Bill was a proud member of both the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, in local Troop 12 of the Zane Trace Council. After advancing from Cub to Boy Scout, he volunteered to serve as Den Chief for the new Cub Scouts in his area.
As a teenager, he attended New Lexington High School, in Perry County, Ohio. While there he played trumpet for a time in the high school band, led by his uncle, Alan Conn. He also took an interest in acting, playing the major role of Don Cutter in his senior class play, Lunatics at Large. He graduated from New Lex High in 1950.
In the summer after his graduation, the U.S. entered into the Korean War. Bill, always patriotic and proud to be an American, quickly enlisted in the Navy. After graduating with his fellow Naval class in 1951, Bill set sail on the first ocean voyage of his life, to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. There he received his Navy commission, an assignment on the attack cargo ship U.S.S. Warrick (AKA-89). While on the Warrick he traveled around the Pacific, stopping in ports of Japan, Hong Kong, and the Phillipines. He performed many duties in the Navy, including stints with the Military Police (MP duty), but he was most proud of his time piloting the Navy’s amphibious landing vehicles, launched from and to the Warrick.
In 1953, when the Korean War ended, Bill received an Honorable Discharge while the Warrick was docked in San Francisco. After exploring the city he decided to make it his new, adopted hometown. While there he met the love of his life, Marilyn Driscoll, and the two were married on October 8, 1954. They would remain married for the next 66 years, until his passing.
In February, 1955, Bill began work as a switchman for the Southern Pacific Railroad. He worked over 39 years for the railroad, until his retirement in 1994.
Bill and Marilyn raised three children: daughters Karen and Susan, and son Bryan. Along the way, he was captain of his bowling team, a passionate cards player, a lover of country music and an outgoing, friendly man who loved sharing a drink with friends, both old and new. He was a huge sports fan, too, routinely wearing clothing emblazoned with the logos of one of his three favorite teams: the San Francisco Giants, the San Francisco 49ers, and the Ohio State Buckeyes (and, of course, his alma mater, the New Lexington High Panthers). Bill also was an avid fisherman, and even in his final few days talked of going on another fishing trip with son, Bryan.
In addition, Bill was a life member of the Eagles 2070 in New Lexington, the Elks 509 in New Lexington, the VFW Post 2806 in New Lexington and Post 7427 in San Mateo, AmVets Post 51 in Thornville, and the American Legion Post 376 in Junction City. His greatest joy in retirement was having a beer while playing cards at one of these organizations, then entering their weekly number drawings and hoping to win a big prize. The winning was always secondary, though, to his enjoyment of the company he found there.
Bill is survived by his wife, Marilyn; his three children, Karen, Susan, and Bryan; his son- and daughter-in-laws, Stephen Jaffe and Anne McDonald; and his three grandsons, Travis, Jake, and Derreck McDonald.
Bill wanted those he knew to remember him as he was when he was alive, rather than in death, so his final wish was for a simple cremation, with no services. The family is honoring his wish.
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