Jim MacDonald passed away on Thursday, February 4, 2021, just a stone’s throw from where he was born, in his hometown of Exeter, at Jessica’s House Residential Hospice in his 80th year.
Jim is finally reunited with his beloved wife Andrea who predeceased him in 1996. Jim made life interesting for everyone and his shenanigans and one liners will be missed especially by his three daughters: Rebecca, Jennie and Amanda and their husbands, 'the boys'; Ted McConnell, Frank Schimanski and Brian O’Neil; his grandchildren Ami and Tim Hendry, Emma and Chris Petrie, Elli and Kevin Stenson, Dylan and Elyse McConnell, Jake O’Neil and Danielle, Mitchell McConnell, Joe O’Neil and Taylor, and Grace McConnell. Left to hear crazy stories of great grandpa are Harlynn, Joel, James, Henry and Ava. Jim will also be missed by his sister-in-law Brenda and John Cummings, his sisters Lorraine Eagleson and Maxine Lamont, his nephew Tony MacDonald, and many more nieces and nephews.
Jim was born on June 15, 1941, the youngest child in the MacDonald home with his siblings Florence, Lillian, Bud, Mary, Maxine, Winona, Lorraine, Ted and Don. He spent a good part of the next 79 years fishing, hunting and playing all sports, excelling at hockey and baseball. While roller-skating in Grand Bend he met the love of his life, Andrea Graham. Jim would often walk all the way from Exeter to London, to take Andrea out on a date. Jim and Andrea married in 1964 and started their family soon after. They eventually settled on Centre Crescent in London where they made lifelong friends as part of the infamous Crescent Crew.
As a young boy, Jim worked as a “rink rat” at the Exeter arena, and then as a driver for Tuckey Beverages in Exeter, where he delivered Pepsi to many small villages across Huron County. Jim eventually carved out a career in construction, as a hoisting engineer and heavy equipment operator working with his father-in-law Angus, with Graham and Graham Construction, and then with McDowell Construction, that took him north to work where Andrea and the girls would join him for many wonderful summers. Eventually his love of snowplowing led him to a job with the road works department in Lobo Township.
In 1979, Jim and Andrea moved to their farm “Woodburn” in Lobo Township, where more great memories were made. Jim was a Past Master of St. John’s Lodge No. 20 A.F.&A.M. Jim and Andrea would host many events at Woodburn, including the lodge barbeque, where he would usually win the horseshoe tournament. When Jim retired, he moved to a quiet spot along Lake Kagawong on Manitoulan Island, where he could fish, hunt, cut wood, and fix everything he broke all day long.
Due to COVID-19 protocols, a private family graveside service was held at Nairn Cemetery in North Middlesex officiated by Reverend Darrell Shaule.
Those wishing to make a donation in memory of Jim, are asked to consider Jessica’s House Residential Hospice or SARI.