John J. MacDonald Sr., age 86, also known as “Jack”, “Jack Mac”, “Pop” “Gramps” or “Grandpa”, passed away on June 18, 2021 at his home in Ridgefield, CT in the arms of his beloved wife Pat. Jack was the father of 7 children, and grandfather to 19.
He grew up in the Norwood section of the Bronx. He attended grammar school at St. Brendan’s Parish, was a 1952 graduate of Cardinal Hayes High School, and a 1956 graduate of Iona College. He served for ten years in the United States Marine Corps, retiring with the rank of Captain. He climbed the corporate ladder as a sales and marketing executive for 28 years at Kraft/General Foods, focusing on the Maxwell House brand, and also on special assignment for several years in Washington D.C. assisting their Legal Department with an antitrust lawsuit. After retiring from GF, Jack continued his career as a consultant for Fresh World, Campbell Soup, Johnson & Johnson among others. He later served in the bowling industry as vice-president of Strike Ten Entertainment.
Jack was a former President of the Board of Directors of the Ridgefield Boys and Girls Club. For over 10 years he ran the two-day Westmoreland Olympics maintaining impeccable records on famous yellow legal pads. He served as president of the Westmoreland Homeowners Association. He also organized the referees for the Townies basketball program and helped to organize and facilitate the Parks and Rec Town Basketball Tournament. One of his favorite things was volunteering as a basketball referee for the Ridgefield Boys and Girls Club and Men’s League. He was the first Co-President of the RHS Rebound Club. Jack coached his 5 sons’ Little League teams and in later years he returned to the dugout with Danbury Youth Baseball to coach his grandsons – loving every minute of it!
Jack’s greatest attribute was his ability to show up for his family. He was known to always be present for his kid’s games, graduations or other significant events. In later years, most of his travel was in his Honda Accord, with Pat riding shotgun, to watch his son coach or his grandkids compete or perform in plays and dance recitals. Jack had a significant presence in the lives of his 19 grandchildren.
Jack is survived by his wife Patricia Ellen (Ryan), married 55 years. Also, his daughter Laurie Hutson (Ashley), daughter Kathryn Graf ( Daniel/Allegra and Sean), son John Jr. and wife Laura (Lauren and AJ), son Michael and wife Maura (Matt, Patrick, Nick and Mark), son Christopher and wife Patty (Maddie and Kate), son Timothy and wife Maryanne (Emma, Ava, Ella and Luke) and son Thomas and wife Susi (Timmy, Will, Alli and Reece), as well as a brother Raymond C. MacDonald Jr. and his sister Margaret Arthur, brother-in-law and sister-in-law Steve and Marie Ryan and many nieces and nephews. He was pre-deceased by his parents and first wife, Beverly Chapman as well as his son-in-law, David Graf.
Jack was very proud that he could raise his seven children in a town like Ridgefield – he loved this town! He loved their home in Westmoreland next to the pool. On June 3rd of this year Jack and Pat privately celebrated 50 years of living in their home. As a final send-off from his kids, Jack will be buried in a Ridgefield Tigers sweatshirt.
Family and friends will be received on Thursday, June 24, 2021 from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM at Kane Funeral Home; 25 Catoonah Street, Ridgefield. A Mass of Christian Burial, celebrating Jack's life will take place on Friday, June 25, 2021 at 10:00 AM at the St. Mary's Church School Hall; 183 High Ridge Avenue, Ridgefield. Interment in St. Mary's Cemetery will take place privately. Contributions in Jack's memory may be made to the Boys and Girls Club of Ridgefield - 41 Governor Street; Ridgefield, CT 06877, http://www.bgcridgefield.org