McDonnell, John C. "Jack"
Logging his final flight on the wings of angels, John "Jack" C. McDonnell, 76, my beloved husband and best friend, passed away peacefully at home on May 10, 2013. Jack, you will be missed beyond measure. Born in Baltimore, Maryland July 29, 1936, the son of first generation Irish immigrants, Jack felt he lived the "American Dream". He served three years in the U.S. Army, 82nd Airborne division (Europe and Asia). During Jack's 40 years in international finance, he served as a senior V.P. at Commercial Credit Corporation (Baltimore) and as President of Rauscher Pierce Refsnes Leasing, Inc. (Phoenix). Recognized for his innovative structuring of industrial energy financings, Jack served as co-chair of the Arizona Aviation Futures Task Force under Governor Bruce Babbitt and provided assistance to the U.S. Department of Energy. In 1980, Jack opened Ambanc Companies and for the next two decades provided business lending to countries throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Most gratifying was his pioneering of business and cultural opportunities in China. Jack enjoyed many interests, but flying and golf brought him the greatest satisfaction. With multiple jet engine ratings, he took great pride in having achieved his single pilot multi-engine certification in his Citation CJ2. His most treasured golf experience was playing Augusta National the week before the Masters, birdying the 18th and taking home the flag signed by Pro Ian Woosnan, "Great Shot Jack!" He so loved a great round of golf with friends, mornings on the patio with a strong cup of coffee, a Cuban cigar and a good book, our summers at Pismo Beach and flying his CJ2. He was a WWII history buff and intensely passionate about his love of country. Jack possessed a special gift for connecting with people. He derived great pleasure in helping others, especially as a mentor. He felt tremendous gratitude for his life's journey, his spiritual quest, 45 years as a friend of Bill W. and the meaningful relationships developed with family and friends. In spite of living with multiple illnesses, Jack didn't let a day go by without Jack flashing his signature smile, cracking a joke, or expressing love and appreciation. Jack will be remembered by those who knew him best as a remarkable man who led an extraordinarily interesting and full life. He will be missed for his warm and generous spirit, engaging sense of humor, and zest for life. He is survived by his wife Leslie and devoted step-children Ryan, Scott and Stephanie Hendrixson, daughter Kelly McDonnell Hilton (Tom), son Danny McDonnell (Patty), sister Patty McDonnell Stauffer (Steve), grandson, Michael McDonnell, Jr., daughter-in-law Nancy Lee McDonnell, long-time trusted business partner David Matloff and many extended family and friends who will dearly miss him. Preceded in death by his parents, Helen and Charles McDonnell, son Michael Patrick McDonnell, Sr., sister Arlene McDonnell Antikoviak (Bob) and dear friend John Mason. Interment at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona will take place in a private service. A celebration of life will be held on November 10, 2013 at 3pm. Our heartfelt thanks to Mayo Clinic and
for their incredible care. Our family requests that memorial gifts be made to:
, Mayo Clinic (diabetes research) or Wounded Warrior Project.
Published in The Arizona Republic on Oct. 19, 2013