"Mr. Mac" was born in Newport, RI, in 1940. He was son to the late George and Georgeanna MacDonald. He was the brother to George "Junior" MacDonald, Beverly MacDonald, William MacDonald and Brian MacDonald (only living sibling). He grew up in the Newport area and a few years in Fort Myers, Florida.
He graduated from Rogers High School and attended R.I.S.D Architectural Program. After graduation he began in the construction field and quickly ascended to superintendent for lannuccillo Construction Company. After years of working in the union he decided to go into business for himself. With the aid of his longtime friend and business partner Robert White, R&R Construction was formed. After years of success, the company branched out into real estate and development. " Mr. Mac" and his mentor, Raymond " Chic" lannuccillo, started another company in Fort Myers, Florida called Tre R's that developed properties.
Growing up "Mr. Mac" was an avid boater and enjoyed many years with his Goat Island " A" Dock friends. His life would take a dramatic turn in 70's when he started coaching little league baseball in the Fifth Ward. This would lead to R&R Construction's flooding of the Newport Baseball scene. He took over the reins of the American Legion program in the early eighties and soon after, the RI State Championship. " Mr. Mac" would go on to be instrumental in the preservation of Cardines Field. He and others lobbied and succeeded in having the field put on the historic register and with that, kept the Newport Sunset league going to this day. He leaves all of his baseball programs (8 total) in very capable hands for the foreseeable future.
"Mr. Mac" also was very entrenched in the Newport Hockey Association. With some persuasion from George Patonode and Thomas Farrea, he coached all age groups. They developed new teams and programs that helped expand the league to what it has become today. "Mr. Mac" would later financially help the Salve Men's hockey program in its early stages when his close friend Thomas Farrea accepted their first coaching position.
"Mr. Mac" was also very well known for his charity work. His very special charity was the James L. Maher Center which was always one of his dally stops. He enjoyed the company of the staff and clients and did everything in his power to help out whenever possible. He arranged special concerts to raise money, sent workers there to set up Christmas tree stands and whatever else he could do to keep them going strong. His other charitable efforts were mainly through the Catholic Church. He would always set up families for Thanksgiving and Christmas. He would also go to places like Benny's and wipe clean any amounts due on layaway without anyone's knowledge of their Secret Santa’s identity.
One of the more notable things "Mr. Mac" did for the community was set up grand holiday displays. The displays' main goal were to bring joy to everyone during the holidays. Later, the displays spread to Halloween to extend the holiday season as long as possible. Nothing made him happier then pulling up to his home to find fifty or so people running through his displays.
On weekends "Mr. Mac" enjoyed going to car shows with the many different cars he built and worked on during the years. His childhood friend, Paul Reednauer, and he would travel around New England to all the different car shows. He was very successful with many of the automobiles, winning a majority of the shows he attended.
During fall weekends for the past thirty years, he could be seen running up and down the sidelines doing the chains at the Rogers football games.
He enjoyed his winters down in his Cape Coral, Florida home. With that, the ability to enjoy all of the spring training Red Sox games. Winters in Florida also gave him the chance to attend many car shows with friends from Rhode Island along with the friends he made down there.
“Mr. Mac” has had many personal accomplishments throughout the years. He was inducted in the Rogers Sports Hall of Fame, the Newport Sports Hall of Fame and the RI American Legion Hall of Fame. He was a top five finalist for a national sigma award in the United States. He received several proclamations from the city ranging from his work with the Worthy Foundation all the way to the city’s thanks for providing holiday cheer through his displays. He was on the construction board for the new Thompson Junior High School renovations and oversaw several renovations of Cardines Field.
His love for animals was well known. He helped one of his sons develop a farm in Tiverton for rescue animals. His own personal dogs went with him everyday on his many errands or job site visits. There was never a day that he would not have them by his side.
“Mr. Mac” also was a dedicated family man. He leaves behind his sons Keith MacDonald (wife Stacie MacDonald) of Portsmouth, Kevin MacDonald (wife Trish MacDonald) of Newport, and Scott MacDonald (wife Amy MacDonald) of Tiverton. Grandfather to Kyle, Ryan, Olivia, Emily and Phoebe MacDonald. He also leaves behind many nieces and nephews. Besides his immediate family, he was a father figure to many who were less fortunate than others throughout the years.
He leaves behind his wife Carol MacDonald, married for 56 years. He may have accomplished a lot in his lifetime but he would be the first to admit if she was not there, none of it would have been possible. Throughout the years they were side by side through every sporting event, car show, business transaction, holiday celebration and will forever be known in this area as Mr. and Mrs. Mac.
The MacDonald family would like to thank all of the visiting nurses (Betsy), doctors, physical therapists (Evelyn) and caregivers (Julie) for all of their very appreciated work throughout the years. If not for these efforts, “Mr. Mac” would have had less time to spread his good will to others. Thank you also to the Newport Fire Department, they truly went above and beyond on helping “Mr. Mac” on his final day. Even though it was his last, he felt comfort in knowing the people working on him once wore an R&R Construction jersey in one of the many sports he was affiliated with.
Calling hours will be held on Friday, September 6, from 4:00 - 8:00pm in the Hambly Funeral Home, 30 Red Cross Avenue, Newport.
Funeral Services will be held on Saturday, September 7 at 9:30am from the Hambly Funeral Home, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30am in St. Joseph's Church, Broadway, Newport. Burial will follow in St. Columba Cemetery, Middletown.
Memorial donations may be made to the Robert Potter League for Animals, PO Box 412, Newport, RI 02840 or to Visiting Nurses Home and Hospice, 1184 East Main Rd, Portsmouth, RI 02871.
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