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Richard L. McDonald


1924 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Richard L. McDonald Obituary
Richard L. McDonald 7/23/1924 3/14/2018 Richard (Dick) McDonald was born July 23, 1924 in Elizabeth, New Jersey. His playground was the city street and his passion was baseball. His boyhood hero was New York Yankee's great, Mickey Mantle. He learned his life values through Sunday school and Boy Scouts and grew up with strong sense of right and wrong. When he was 18 years old he enlisted in the U.S. Army, completed basic training in the South and was sent to the Pomona fairgrounds to await deployment overseas. It was there he met his future wife, Juanita, a red-headed beauty and the love of his life. He proudly served his country in World War II while stationed in New Guinea where he became staff sergeant and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. During a lull in the war action he played on an Army fast pitch softball All Star team with Phil Rizzuto, who later became a New York Yankees baseball great. Thanks to Dad's nephew, Ron Swearingen, a photo of that team now resides in the Baseball Hall of Fame. After the war, Dick and Juanita were married in a small ceremony near West Point where he was helping train cadets in the mechanics of army equipment. He loved the assignment! Soon after marriage they moved back to California and raised two children, Carolyn and Leonard in Chino, Lancaster, and Lompoc CA near Edwards and Vandenberg Air Force Bases. Family will recall the early years of hot and windy outings to Edwards to attend the air shows. After Dick's retirement, Dick and Juanita enjoyed many years of living in the Alta Laguna mobile home park and traveling across country with friends in their travel trailer. Dick was a disciplined worker and earned several awards from Douglas (later McDonnell/Douglas) for his performance excellence. He later worked and retired from General Dynamics in Pomona. He enjoyed a fulfilling work life and said he loved every minute of his extensive 35 year career in aircraft and aerospace. Dick and Juanita both enjoyed the sports of bowling and golf and Dick played slow-pitch softball on the company team for many years. He was a natural athlete and passed on his talents to his son Leonard, who attended Upland High School and was a star athlete in baseball and basketball. Dick and Juanita also loved to square dance and were active members of the Rocking Squares (Lompoc) and the Calico Rompers for over 40 years. Dick was a proud, patriotic American. Friends at Coco's and BC's Caf‚ in Alta Loma will remember his warm smile, quick wit and gracious manner as he donned his WWII Veterans cap while enjoying his favorite coconut cream pie and coffee and peach pancakes. Dick's greatest legacy is the love that he had for his family and friends. He was a devoted husband, a proud grandpa, a treasured uncle, and a valued friend. He was preceded in death by his son Leonard and wife Juanita, whom he has now joined in Heaven. He is survived by his grandchildren, Michael and Megan McDonald, and many nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his daughter Carolyn, who will always consider her Dad to be her greatest hero. Internment was private.
Published in Inland Valley Daily Bulletin on Aug. 26, 2018
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