Obituary: John McDonald
March 12, 1947 – August 31, 2023
Our beloved friend, John Anthony McDonald, was taken from us on Thursday, August 31st after fighting his toughest fight against multiple myeloma. John was larger than life. He lived life in the fast lane, sometimes the wrong lane, but he always landed on his feet. John was a man of style, education and devotion to his friends and students. He also had a wicked and clever sense of humor. John loved nothing more than a good scotch or a good wine while reading, which was his passion, or visiting with his many friends. John never forgot a birthday, a special day or holiday gifts. His gifts were usually over the top. To quote that Clarksville, Texas sage and frat brother, Kenny Emery, “Doesn’t cost more to go first class, just can’t stay as long.” If anything, John epitomized always going first class. He was a lifelong liberal and a true “yellow dog” Democrat.
John was born March 12, 1947 in Sulphur Springs, Texas to Eugene Ray and Dinah Jubilee McDonald, both of whom preceded him in death. John was raised in Dallas and received his B.S. at East Texas State University where he was a proud member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. John moved to Utah in 1971 and stayed on (thank you Tom Scott). While in Utah, John continued his education and received his Masters in Special Education and Special Physical Adaptive Education from the University of Utah. He developed a deep love for the University and the Utes.
During his early time in Utah John worked in the High Uintas as a director for the YMCA at Camp Roger. He also worked as the Recreational Therapist at Holy Cross Hospital. One of the things John was most proud of was teaching. He started his career teaching Special Education, moved to Alternative Education and ended up in Park City teaching at Treasure Mountain Middle School. He was chosen Teacher of the Year two times while at Park City. His kids were just that, his kids. The relationships he developed with “his kids” have lasted long after they graduated. John absolutely loved teaching.
John also loved working with both local and state level Teacher Associations. He was a two term President of PCEA, a two term President of Eastern Uniserv (10 districts/associations) and a National delegate at the NEA Convention. Once asked why he wasn’t more selective in picking his fights for education he replied that he was, every damn one of them! If something was important to someone, it was important to him.
We are grateful for the care and concern by the aides at Emma’s Elder Care during John’s last months. Their round the clock care allowed us to keep John in the home he loved.
Join us for a Celebration of Mac’s Life on Thursday, September 28th from 6:00 to 8:00 in the evening at Starks Funeral Parlor, 3651 South 900 East, Salt Lake City. Come share stories, swap lies and commiserate with each other about the time you spent with him.
In John’s words “Remember, Scotland Forever! Pony up! And especially Go Utes!”
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