McDONALD, Francis W. (Age 74) Passed away peacefully on March 31, 2014 surrounded by family. He was born and raised in the tight knit farming town of Ledyard, Iowa, the youngest of 10 children born to John and Ella McDonald. After two years in college he enlisted in the Air Force and became a pilot with the 3rd ATS Squadron flying C130s. He met and married Katherine (Osborne) McDonald while stationed in Charleston, SC. These were some of the happiest years of his life where he made lifelong friends flying all over the world. After a car accident forced him to be grounded from his love of flying, he left the military and returned to school. He earned a MBA from the University of Nebraska and began his career in finance. Later in life after being widowed, he was lucky to find love again with Jean Torell McDonald. Francis loved the water and enjoyed boating with family and friends. He was never located too far from the coast or a boat ramp. He was a dedicated family man who worked hard to provide a good life for his family. He is fondly remembered by many for being keenly smart, compassionate and giving. Our hearts are full of sadness to have lost such a wonderful man, but we find peace that he is free from the mind and body that failed him in his later years. Francis is survived by his children, Patrick (Sandy) McDonald, Michael (Stephanie) McDonald, Mary Catherine (Corey) Peterson; his grandchildren; his former wife Jean Torell McDonald; and sisters Rose Marie Gelhaus, Patricia Jorgensen, and Ellen Kennedy. He is preceded in death by his wife Katherine McDonald, his parents John and Ella McDonald, brothers William, Dennis, Joseph and James McDonald and sisters Mary McNerney and Doris Drake. A graveside service with military honors will occur at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida later this summer. The family would like to express their heartfelt thanks to the wonderful staff at Clare Bridge of Spokane for the love and care given to Francis in the last two years of his life.
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Published in Spokesman-Review on Apr. 6, 2014