In Memory of




Obituary for Major John McDonald


It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Major John Alexander McDonald at the Ritz Lutheran Villa on July 19th, 2022 in his 94th year. Devoted husband of Donna (Adams) of Mitchell and loving father to Dr Mary Ruth McDonald (Doug Schaefer), John “Ian” (Sandra Murphy), Heather (Blair Nonnecke) and Moraine (Tom Chessell -son in law). Proud grandfather to Glen McDonald, Kerry Leah Leutenegger (Roman), Dylan Chessell (Hillary Alyesworth), Dustin Chessell and Alexander Schaefer and Cameron Schaefer and his great grandson Denham Leutenegger. Loving brother of Joyce Murdock and Marie Jones (Vic).

Born in Bandon Manitoba he is pre-deceased by his parents Daniel and Margaret (McIntyre) McDonald, his two sisters Shirley (Sulik) and Joan (Kerkowich) and his brother’s Raymond, Allen, Glen and Gilbert. John will be missed by his sister-in-law Ethel and brothers-in-law Watson and Victor.

John lived a full and abundant life that began in Brandon Manitoba, after his grade 11 education he taught in a rural one room school for 1 year before signing with the Canadian Army where he was an accomplished Canadian soldier who attained the rank of Major. He was a proud member of the Canadian Black Watch Regiment and served as a peacekeeper in Korea, Cyprus, in Syria and Israel including serving on the Golan Heights during the Yom Kippur War. He held posts in Aldershot Nova Scotia, Winnipeg Manitoba, Regina Saskatchewan, Oromocto and Moncton New Brunswick and retired his career at Base Borden Ontario in 1975 when he and Donna moved to the country at RR # 2 Mitchell. He entered a second career with St John Ambulance and was SouthWest Regional manager and a CPR and First Aid Instructor. He achieved his diploma in Horticulture from the University of Guelph and he and Donna joined the Canadian Universities Overseas (CUSO) where he taught young men in an agricultural college in Papua New Guinea for 2 years before finally retiring and settling with Donna at 151 James Street Mitchell, and the last 10 years at the Ritz Lutheren Manor apartments.

John will be remembered for his love of family, his service to his country and his volunteer services to the United Church of Canada through Mitchell United Church and London conference. He was a member of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 128 in Mitchell.

John loved gardening, agriculture, woodworking, golfing and taking his daily walks, writing his memoirs, he loved to read and loved history. He loved the cottage he built for his family on Grand Lake in New Brunswick and later he and Donna enjoyed their cottage life at Sauble Beach. He had a passion for travel and experienced life in several different countries during his army career and in later life he and Donna travelled for pleasure to Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, India, Thailand, Europe, Central America and the Caribbean.

He loved to dance with Donna and they enjoyed many “Tuesday Tunes” in Seaforth. He was a proud and disciplined man and will be remembered for his distinguished stature, his grateful disposition, broad shoulders and his love of teaching. He was an officer and a gentleman and we will miss him dearly.

The family wishes to thank his care providers Dr Lappano, Dr Lucier and the staff on the medical floor at the Stratford Hospital and at the Ritz Lutheran Villa.

Friends will be received at the Lockhart Funeral Home, 109 Montreal St., Mitchell, on Friday, July 29th, 2022 at 10:00 a.m to 10:45 a.m. followed by a memorial service at 11:00 a.m. A scattering ceremony will follow at God’s Holy Acre, 41 Mornington Street Stratford, Ontario, N5A 5E7 at 2:30 p.m. Memorial donations to Main Street United Church or Nature Conservancy of Canada would be appreciated and may be made at

Click here to view John’s memorial service.