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Howard Edward McDonald

Obituary Condolences

Howard Edward McDonald Obituary
Longtime Rancho Palos Verdes resident Howard Edward (Mac) McDonald passed away on May 12, 2014. Mac was born to Edward and Louella McDonald in Kansas City, MO on May 2, 1922. He was a member of the Greatest Generation, growing up in Depression Era America and participating in the cataclysmic events of World War II as a junior naval officer aboard the USS McCracken, all before the age of 21. After the war, he attended his beloved Tulane University in New Orleans and then went on to the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business. There, in addition to obtaining a degree, he met his future wife, Mary Eleanor "Mel" Snyder, who worked in the university's admissions department. They were married in 1950, and in 1951 the couple moved to New Orleans, where Mac worked for the Fitzgerald Advertising Agency. Mac and Mel's years in New Orleans were both fun- and event-filled, as they enjoyed life in the always-entertaining Big Easy while bringing three little McDonalds into the world. In 1961, Mac accepted a job with a Los Angeles advertising agency and the McDonald family moved, settling permanently in Rancho Palos Verdes in 1962. A few years later, Mac, along with partner, Paul Jordan, founded a company that would become Jordan/McDonald, Inc., providing consulting services to advertising agencies. He also co-founded Profit Index Systems, Inc. (PISI), a company that provided advertising agencies with in-depth profitability analysis and data obtained from a fascinating new technology that was virtually unknown at the time–computer technology. PISI's unique computer analysis capabilities were valued and sought by advertising agencies across the nation, and this success caused Mac McDonald to be recognized as one of the advertising industry's foremost authorities on the all-important subject of profitability. Away from work, Mac enjoyed simple pleasures–laying by the pool (or the ocean) under the warm sun and cool sea breeze, following his team, the Detroit Tigers, and barbecuing for family and friends. Once the children had grown, Mac and wife Mel took yearly trips to Maui, where he was happy to lie out in the sun and take dips in the emerald waters of the Pacific Ocean. Mac was a quiet man, a man of few words, but in his heart, where it counts, he was a caring family man who supported a family of five and was "always there" when needed. Thank you Mac, husband and father, we'll miss you. Mac was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Mel. He is survived by son Dan (Joji) McDonald of Orlando, FL; daughter Gail (Allan) Vaughan of Pride's Crossing, MA; son Doug (Patty) McDonald of Ft. Lauderdale, FL; granddaughter Camille McDonald of Orlando, FL; grandson Doug (Jacqui) Wright of Las Vegas, NV; and great-grandson Doug Wright and great-granddaughter Delylah Wright of Las Vegas, NV. At his request, there will be no service. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made in Mac's name to the Wounded Warrior Project. Visit to send the family messages and to share memories.

Rice Mortuary (310) 792-7599
Published in Daily Breeze from May 16 to May 22, 2014
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