Thomas W. McDonald Sr. Obituary
July 26, 1929 - May 18, 2014
Resided in Saginaw, MI
Passed away early Sunday, May 18, 2014, at Covenant - Cooper. Age 84 years.
Thomas Warren McDonald was born July 26, 1929, in Saginaw, the son of the late Dr. Francis J. and Mary C. (Fordney) McDonald. He graduated from St. Andrew High School with the Class of 1947. He had played football for St. Andrew, and was captain of the football team. He met his high school sweetheart, Ruth Bader, there, and they were married on March 31, 1951. Tom attended Assumption College and later graduated from General Motors Institute, with a degree in Automotive Marketing, in the summer of 1951. He worked for Guy Garber at Garber Buick on Genesee Street in used car reconditioning, from 1951 until 1956. He then joined his father at McDonald Nursery. After Dr. McDonald's death in 1963, Tom became owner and manager, working in retail nursery and landscaping until 1981. In September of 1980, Tom purchased Garber Pontiac Cadillac, and it became McDonald Pontiac GMC shortly thereafter. In May of 1996, he opened McDonald Ford in Freeland.
Tom was an avid antique and classic car collector, the favorite of his collection being his first classic, a 1934 Buick Phaeton, which he rebuilt. For seventeen years, he authored many articles in the Saginaw News under various headings, including Behind the Wheel, People I've Known, People I Wish I Had Known, and Looking Back.
He has served on the Citizens' Bank Board of Directors as well as the Boards of the Saginaw County Historical Society, the Saginaw County Red Cross, the Saginaw County Community Foundation, the Saginaw United Way and the Saginaw Chamber of Commerce.
He has been Chairman of the Citizens' Bank Trust Committee and of the Saginaw Heritage 1976 Bicentennial Celebration.
He was a member of the Metropolitan Saginaw Economic Round Table, the Saginaw Union Government Alliance Group, the Saginaw Board of Futures and the Advisory Board of St. Mary's Hospital. He was also a Director of the Field Neuroscience Institute of St. Mary's.
He was a member of the Thomas Township Planning Commission for 21 years, 11 as its chairman.
Seven organizations have chosen him as President including the Saginaw Northwest Kiwanis Club, the Saginaw Hall of Fame, the Saginaw United Service Clubs, the Saginaw Valley Association of Nurserymen, the Michigan Association of Nurserymen and Landscapers, the Michigan Township Parks Commission and the Saginaw Club.
In 1994. Tom was welcomed into the Catholic Schools' Hall of Fame "in recognition of his time, energy and support of Catholic Schools."
Currently, he is Chairman of the Tom MccDonald Historic Automobile Foundation and is a sponsor of the Saginaw Chamber of Commerce Leadership Training Program and of the Saginaw Soap Box Derby, an event he won in 1941.
He has been recognized by Michigan's governors who presented him with the 1985 Michigan Minute Man Award and the 1987 Michigan Leadership Award for Community Service.
He has also been recognized by the Downtown Rotary Club which named him the Outstanding Citizen of Saginaw in 1993 and the Saginaw Chamber of Commerce, which gave him their highest award, the Robert H. Albert Community Service Award in 1990. In 1994, he received the Saginaw County Bar Association Liberty Bell Lawyers Award and that same year, he was chosen as the Saginaw PRIDE Parade Grand Marshall. He apeared as PRIDE Grand Marshall again in 2003 and was the Shields Homecoming Parade Grand Marshall in 1999.
He was inducted into the Boy Scout Hall of Fame and the Fordney Club Hall of Fame and was honored by Junior Achievement and the Boys and Girls Clubs for outstanding community service.
He and his wife, Ruth, were honored by the Muscular Dystrophy Association in 2002, receiving the Wally and Irene Bronner Spirit of Sharing Award.
Surviving are his wife, Ruth B. McDonald; two sons, three daughters, and their spouses, Thomas W. (Denise) McDonald Jr., Saginaw; Kathleen (Mark DeWitt) McDonald-DeWitt, Soddy Daisy, Tennessee; Diane (Thadeus) Stawiarska, West Bloomfield Hills, Michigan; Jody (Bob) Rider, Midland; Bill (Andrea) McDonald, Saginaw; thirteen grandchildren, their spouses, and seven great-grandchildren: Jennifer (Andrew) James, LaGrange, Illinois, and their children, Emmett, Molly and Henry; Thomas W. (Katie) McDonald III, Saginaw, and their sons, Thomas and Trenton; Meghan (Mitch) Wagner, Saginaw, and their son, Marshall, and a daughter on her way; Molly (Jon) Rae, Bath, Michigan; Celeste Stawiarska and Thadeus Stawiarski, both of West Bloomfield Hills, Michigan; Eric (Tanya) McDonald, Los Angeles, California; William McDonald, Saginaw; Kaitlin McDonald, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Zachary Mueller, Ashley McDonald, Shawn McDonald and Ryan McDonald, all of Saginaw; several nieces, nephews and their families. Tom was predeceased by two brothers, Joseph McDonald and F. James McDonald, and by a sister, Mary Catherine Hill.
Funeral Liturgy will take place at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, May 24, 2014, at Holy Family Catholic Church, 1525 S. Washington Avenue. Rev. Fr. David Jenuwine will officiate, assisted by Deacon Roger Pasionek. Private committal services will take place later. His family will receive friends at the W. L. Case & Company Funeral Chapel, 4480 Mackinaw Road, from 3:00 – 8:00 p.m. on Thursday and on Friday, where a Parish Vigil service will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Friday. Family and friends may then call at the church on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until the time of Mass. Those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider Thomas Township Parks Associations for a center to be built in Tom's memory. www.casefuneralhome.com
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Saginaw Charter Township, MI United States 48603
Saginaw, MI United States 48601