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William F. McDonald

1928 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
William F. McDonald Obituary
February 16, 1928 - August 18, 2018William Frederick Cloud McDonald was the first baby born in the St Cloud Hospital in St Cloud, MN on February 16, 1928. The Benedictine nuns who ran the hospital gave him his second middle name and the first of the stories and sayings he would spin for 90 years.His beloved parents, William J. and Elizabeth "Kitty" Ashbaugh McDonald soon took his older sister Rosemary (William) Latimer and him southwest where they would spend the Depression years in the pre- air conditioning days of Tucson, AZ. Young Billy helped make ends meet with his morning paper route and weekends selling the Saturday Evening Post.If his life had an inflection point it was his family's move in 1943 to Seattle where a Jesuit cousin managed to enroll him at the Seattle Preparatory School for Select Catholic Gentlemen (Seattle Prep to everyone but him). Despite a brief expulsion he flourished, made lifelong friends and developed a devotion to Jesuit education. After graduating from University of Washington in 1949 with a B.S. in Chemistry, he served a short stint in the Navy Reserves, boasting the State of Washington was never attacked during the first weekend of any month on his watch.In 1958, Bill moved to Pasadena and never left. He married Nancy Meyer on September 5, 1964 at Holy Family Church in South Pasadena and they wasted no time building a life together. Six boys followed Chris (Aarti), Mark (Jennie), Tom (Jen), Matt (Virginie), Rocky (Carol) & Patrick - then 14 grandchildren.Bill loved to practice his Catholic faith and was a Holy Family parishioner for 60 years.In 1966, Bill founded the WF McDonald Company / M Chemical Co. where he weaved sales magic to put bread on the table for his growing family to whom he later passed the torch. He finally retired in March after two decades as "Chief Second-Guesser".Bill had the best hook serve on the YMCA handball courts, rode his bike around the Rose Bowl and ran up Arbor St. (Heartbreak Hill) every weekend before developing a lousy golf game later in life. But the sports he enjoyed the most were those he played with his six sons. No father in town fed more jump shots, hit more backyard grounders or coached more Little League teams (10!).Everyone loved Bill's sense of humor. You didn't just shake his hand he told you to "put it in the vice, brother!" How was he doing? "Fine as a frog's hair split three ways!" The greatest of his April Fools pranks involved a dead horse, his Christmas Cards were self-deprecating, and he never missed his chance to lampoon the fashionable buzzwords of the day.He earned straight A's for the last time in 2nd grade but claimed "infallibility on all matters except faith and morals." He sang every college fight song. He was the whistling in the other room.We've never met anyone else like him.Bill died at his home keeping Nancy entertained and his boys on their toes until the end.In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Seattle Prep High School Class of '45 Scholarship and Loyola High School (Los Angeles).Funeral Mass will be held at Holy Family Church in South Pasadena on Friday, August 24th at 10:00 am.Please sign the guestbook at legacy.com/obituaries/pasadenastarnews.
Published in Pasadena Star-News on Aug. 21, 2018
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