Soldotna resident John Patrick McDonald died Thursday, Jan. 24, 2002, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna of natural causes. He was 86.
A memorial Mass will be celebrated at noon Tuesday at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Soldotna. Father Richard Tero will officiate. Mr. McDonald's ashes will be buried in the Fort Richardson National Cemetery near Anchorage.
Mr. McDonald was born June 15, 1915, in Cloquet, Minn., and attended St. Thomas University in St. Paul, Minn. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II and received the purple heart for wounds received in the Philippines. He served as a Pvt. 1st Class in the 63rd Infantry Division.
Mr. McDonald moved to Alaska in 1980 and lived in Kodiak for five years and in Soldotna. He was an illustrative photographer. He was known for staying in the bush for extended periods of time taking photographs of the nature that surrounded him. He also volunteered with the Alaska State Parks Department in Kodiak and at the Soldotna Senior Center. Mr. McDonald enjoyed outdoor photography, card games, music, books and the occasional political discussion.
"John was a lifelong Catholic devoted to attending Mass daily. He believed that our Lord and his blessed mother Mary were faithful to him throughout his life. He shared the belief that faith, hope and, above all, love, was the way to accept others. Through this
commitment in faith, John greatly influenced the lives of others as a 'grandfather,' a proud American, a strong Democrat and a humble human being. He shared his love of the Lord, his fine intellect, books, music and his love of the outdoors with those he met," his family said.
Mr. McDonald was preceded in death by his parents, John William McDonald and Katherine Kavanaugh of Minnesota. He is survived by his many friends from the Catholic Church and the community, and his family, Sabrina, Kiana and Ashlyn, whom he loved very much.
Arrangements were made by the Peninsula Memorial Chapel.
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