Born In: North Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
Born: April 25th, 2013
Passed on: March 20th, 2013
NEW GLASGOW – Donald John “Donnie J” MacDonald, 76, New Glasgow, passed away into eternal life Wednesday, March 20, 2013, surrounded by his family in the Palliative Care Unit at the Aberdeen Hospital, New Glasgow, after a two year battle with kidney disease.
Born in North Sydney, Cape Breton on April 25, 1936 he was a son of the late John “Hank” and Mary (Astephen) MacDonald.
He was a member of St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church, New Glasgow. After his early education in North Sydney, he attended Xavier Junior College then finished his B.A. at St. Francis Xavier University. He received his education certificate from Dalhousie University in Halifax and enjoyed his first year teaching at Baddeck Rural High School. At this time, he felt called to enter the seminary and in May, 1963 he was ordained a Catholic priest for the archdiocese of Halifax. Over the next 14 years he served as curate in various parishes, was assigned spiritual director for Burke House, a residence for young college men considering the priesthood. While in this position, he also taught at St. Patrick High School and lectured at St Mary’s University, Halifax. Summers he traveled to Catholic U of America and Notre Dame U to complete a Master’s in Theology. Still a young man, he was assigned Pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish, Truro. Following this very positive experience, he accepted the opportunity to serve the Diocesan Mission in Chiclayo, Peru, S.A. Living among and serving the people of Victoria Nueva was a high point in his life. Upon returning to Canada after four years, he felt called to leave the priesthood and was hired by Addiction Services of Nova Scotia. During his 20 plus years with them, he served as clinical therapist, treatment supervisor and finally Director of the Northern Region of Nova Scotia. Throughout his life, Donnie enjoyed the peace he found in nature. Many of his days were spent walking through the woods of Nova Scotia. Winter or summer, Donnie could be found along the shores of Melmerby Beach with his faithful Lab, Shyla by his side. Donnie was a loving, husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend.
Surviving are his loving wife of 36 years, Eileen “Ronnie” (Collins); sons, Sean (Jane), Halifax; Curt (Kristina), Halifax; daughter, Mary Eileen (Joey), Halifax; he loved his role as “Grampy” to Grace, Lucy, David, Matthew and Jonah; sister, Paula (Bob) Barwell, Brantford, ON; many loving nieces, nephews and cousins.
Besides his parents he was predeceased by his sister, Ann Marie MacLean.
There will be no visitation by Donnie J’s request. Mass of the Resurrection will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, March 23 at St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church, with Father Gary MacPherson presiding. Interment will be held at a later date in Holy Cross Cemetery. A reception will follow in the church hall.
Family flowers only. If so desired, donations may be made in Donnie J’s memory to Pictou County Food Bank or to the Outreach Mission to Homeless of Halifax, care of Sister Jovita MacPherson, Apt. 1004, 1991 Brunswick Street, Halifax, NS, B3J 2G9.
Eileen and children would like to thank the caring and compassionate staff on the Palliative Care unit. The support of Dr. Farrell and all the nursing staff was unsurpassed. A warm thank you is extended to Dr. Marion MacDonald for her presence and support and to the nurses of the Home Dialysis Unit at the Dickson Building. Their ongoing teaching and availability were invaluable.