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DeWitt MacDonald Jr.


1928 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
DeWitt Kenneth (Ken) MacDonald Jr.

June 23, 1928 – June 4, 2016

Dewitt K. MacDonald Jr., known to his friends as Ken, passed away on June 4, 2016 surrounded by the presence and the unbounded love of his four sons and longtime caregiver Ericka. Ken was born on June 23, 1928 in Albany, New York to Grace M. MacDonald and Dewitt K. MacDonald, both of whom preceded him in death, as did his brother Seward W. MacDonald, and his loving wife of 60 years Mary M. (Dolly) MacDonald. He is survived by his four sons and daughters-in-law, Ken (Linda), Dwight (Kim), Chris (Susan), and Thomas (Karen), and also by his grandchildren, Colin, Todd, Arielle, Haley, Brett, Briggs, Elle, Hale, Alexa, Blake, Sofia, and Ella.
Ken's parents were from Quaker Street, New York, a small farming town about 25 miles from Albany, where Ken was raised. He spent summers as a small boy on his mother's family farm. Later, after his parents acquired a small cabin on North Hero Island, Lake Champlain in Vermont, he would spend summers there working on local farms. He loved North Hero and Lake Champlain, a passion that was shared with Dolly, his four sons and now grandchildren.
Ken attended the prestigious Albany Academy from grade school through high school. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1950 and went on to serve on a destroyer as an officer in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. He met Dolly while stationed at Treasure Island and the couple were soon married. Following his naval service, Ken attended Harvard Law School, graduating in 1956. He practiced law and became a partner at Nelson, Boyd and Menary, a small firm in San Rafael, CA. He chose to practice at a smaller firm in order to be his own boss and, more importantly to him, be able to devote time to his family. He retired from his law practice in 2002.
Ken always made time to be active with his boys. One of his favorite activities was participating in little league with his sons where he either coached or managed teams for 16 years. He enjoyed long family summer vacations. North Hero was a favorite when the boys were young. Then later the family also spent summer vacations in Sun River, Oregon at the home they built with lifelong friends Edward and Patricia Shelton. His devotion to his family and his character were never more evident than in the care he gave Dolly during her illness in the years before her death.
In addition to a busy law career and being a devoted husband and father, Ken was very active in the community. Some of his many community activities ranged from being President of the Kentfield School District Board of Trustees, to serving on the board of several Marin County foundations.
He was dearly loved by his wife Dolly, four sons, his four daughters-in-law, his grandchildren, and his caregivers. He was a remarkable man of impeccable integrity and class who will be greatly missed by his family and many friends. A mass will be celebrated in his honor at St. Sebastian Church in Kentfield on the twenty-seventh day of June at 11:00 am. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to a that aids veterans.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on June 18, 2016
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