Rev. William “Graham” MacDonald passed peacefully at Lookout Ridge Retirement Home, Fonthill, ON on Friday, November 20, 2020, in his 94th year. Predeceased by his wife Rev. Freda Mae MacDonald (Wade), Graham is survived by his children Dr. Anne of Vienna, Austria, Jim (Theresie Tungilik) of Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, and Bill (Linda) of Fonthill, Ontario. He was the loving grandfather of Priscilla (Dave), Dustin (Rachael), Max (Melaine), Alannah, Caitlin and the great-grandfather of Jonathan, Kaylee, DJ, Abigail, Yzabell, Natalie, Hannah, and Gwendolyn. Loving brother of Margaret MacDonald, Dr. Mac (Judy) MacDonald, and predeceased by his brother-in-law Ken Wade.
From humble beginnings on a farm in the Lucknow area of Bruce County, Graham became an educator who rose to become a School Superintendent for the Lambton and Middlesex County School Boards. His advocacy for special needs students in rural areas led to the naming of the Adelaide W.G. MacDonald School in his honour. He spread his knowledge of education where ever he could, which led to Graham, together with Freda, spending their summer holidays in the 1970s working with educators in the British Virgin Islands. “Operation Grey Ox”, which shipped used school textbooks to the BVI, was born out of the need Graham and Freda found in the BVI.
Working with First Nations advisors, educators and historical society members, he was a driving force behind the building of “Ska Nah Doht,” a recreated First Nations village outside London. At the opening of Ska Nah Doht, in 1973, Graham was made an honorary member of the Oneida Wolf Clan, a privilege he was honoured to have bestowed on him.
Following “retirement”, Graham and Freda attended Knox College in Toronto and were ordained as Presbyterian ministers in 1985. They spent 14 years in a very active and rewarding team ministry in Burks Falls, Sundridge and Magnetawan.
Graham became a prolific writer in his later years, authoring 12 priceless books on family histories and wonderful pieces of fiction, as well as co-authoring three books documenting life in rural Ontario. Graham will always be remembered for his sense of humour, ability to think creatively, his zest for life, and his deep sensitivity and kindness.
Cremation has taken place.
A service to celebrate Graham’s life will be held at a later date.
Interment in South Kinloss Cemetery, Lucknow, ON at a later date.
Memorial donations to Parkinson Canada or a charity of your choice.