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1918 - 2014
Alex Macdonald passed away on March 5, 2014 after various illnesses had compromised his health, but never his mind and spirit. He leaves his daughter Christina, her husband Luca, his grandsons Andrew and Michael, as well as his many nieces, nephews, and friends to mourn his death and celebrate his life. Born in Vancouver, educated at UBC and Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, he was always drawn to public life. In the early 1940s, he became secretary to M.J. Coldwell, the leader of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation, and the predecessor to the NDP. While working in Ottawa, he met and married Dorothy in 1944. In 1948, they moved to Vancouver, established a home, and later started a family. All would lead to a long life. In 1957, Alex was elected as a CCF Member of Parliament for Vancouver Kingsway, but his federal career was cut short by the Diefenbaker sweep of the following year. In 1960, he was elected MLA for Vancouver East, and won eight subsequent elections. Over a span of 26 years as an MLA, his highest profile contribution was during the period of 1972-75 when Dave Barrett led the NDP to its first majority government in the province's history. Alex held the post of Attorney General, the same position his father had held, approximately 50 years earlier. Following his retirement from elected office, he took up writing and teaching. He wrote three books and two pamphlets about current events and public policy. While always advancing his own progressive brand of social democracy, his publications were also peppered with his unique sense of humour. The same description could also be applied to the years he taught at SFU as an adjunct professor in the Department of Political Science. Through all his various careers, he remained physically fit, with a squash or tennis racket never far from reach.
Alex was predeceased by his brothers Malcolm and Jim, his sister Elena, and in 2008 by Dorothy, his wife of 64 years. A ceremony to celebrate Alex's life will be held in May, and the publication of the time, date, and location will be provided closer to the event. The family would like to thank Emilia Talite for her care over many years, as well as the attentive staff at South Granville Park Lodge. The family also asks that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the "Dorothy and Alex Macdonald Bursary" at SFU, whose intended beneficiaries are students who would not otherwise be able to attend SFU without financial assistance.
Walkey & Company Funeral Directors 604 738-0006
Walkey & Company Funeral Directors Ltd.
235 Commercial Drive
Vancouver, BC V5L 4X1
Published in Vancouver Sun and/or The Province on Mar. 15, 2014