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George Edward McDonald

July 13, 1947 – June 28, 2020

George Edward McDonald was born on the 13th of July, 1947, and lost a courageous battle with cancer on the 28th of June, 2020. George was the eleventh of thirteen children born to James Arthur McDonald and Agnes Mae Snyder McDonald in Gainesville, Florida. 

Our dad has gone to join his parents, six sisters (Frances, Teressa, Dorothy, Barbara, DeDe, Harriet) and infant son Samuel Conrad in the home of glory. Surviving him are wife Sue, sons Ben (Melissa), and Perry Davis (Megan), daughters Callie (Ryan), Jenna and Sarah (Matt), grandchildren, Colin, Peyton, Andrew, Chayton, Lucas, Hudson, Jacob and soon to be born baby Hattie. He leaves his sisters Jimmie Mae and Arvie Jean, brothers Ray, Richard, Dave and Billy, and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and in-laws.   

So many happy adventures in his lifetime were a result of growing up in a family with thirteen children, and our dad could put a smile on anyone’s face. It was always fun, whether he was goofing around with us, performing magic tricks, tickling his grandkids, or telling jokes to friends. He was an old school Navy electrician who could fix anything with an oscilloscope and some duct tape and was a master scrounger who always seemed to find just the right deal for the esoteric thing he needed for the next new project he was cooking in the garage. Dad taught us to look up at the night sky and appreciate the wonderment of the stars. He was our rock.

Dad was never happier than when he was cruising the countryside on his motorcycle. What a smile on that face! He touched the lives of Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, teaching skills that would take them through life. When we lived in Florida, he picked up whittlin’ and soon became a lifelong carver, craftsman, and woodworker at a professional level. We marveled at his ability to create whimsical faces on anything; pencils, pumpkins, totem poles, and he even carved a life-size Indian. He spent years trying to strike it rich as a gold prospector, and then one day, he did! He found North Carolina’s largest single piece of gold in over 100 years. He said, “I don’t need to look anymore; I’ve found my best.”

Some of our favorite memories were simply listening to him tell stories as we all crowded around a table with a jigsaw puzzle. He took pleasure and pride in joining our mother with her passion for preserving history at the Mint Hill Historical Society. Dad served on the Historical Society’s Board of Trustees and played an extraordinary role in the development of the Carl J McEwen Historic Village. His larger than life personality had an impact on every person who was lucky to know him. We will always remember him as a loving father who would fill the room with joy and laughter.

A memorial service celebrating George’s life will be held at a later date. 

The family asks that any donations be made to the Mint Hill Historical Society, where George worked and played. 

Mint Hill Historical Society, 7601 Matthews Mint Hill Rd, Mint Hill, NC 28227.

Notes of encouragement or condolences may be made to the family by posting a comment below.

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Jeff Wainscott

3 months ago

George will be truly miss by anyone who was fortunate enough to cross his path. A man with a warm gentle soul and a awesome sense of humor. A man who was wise beyond his years. Rest easy my friend…..

Sandy Heson

3 months ago

I had the privilege of working with George, he was just like you said. He was good man and a good friend to my husband and especially me. He will surely be missed. Sending prayers to your family.

Michael Aumiller

3 months ago

I am so sorry for your loss. The time I spent at the farmers market was always made better by his presence.I always enjoyed the back and forth joke telling with him. I will never forget his wonderful personality or his beautiful smile.

Nancy Dulin Alexander

3 months ago

I worked with George for many many years at Alltel….I have 2 of George’s windspirit carvings…2 of my most prized possessions. I am so sorry for the loss of dear George….many hugs and prayers to all his family 🙏🌹

Minor Clemons

3 months ago

I will never forget when i picked George up at the airport to start work at ALLTEL’ Southern Region head quarters.. I was told to look for a big man with a smile. We enjoyed many years working together. He was a good man. Prayers to his family.

Don Collins

3 months ago

I am a better person because I had the pleasure to be your neighbor and friend! You will be missed by so many. I look forward to seeing you again and my prayers are with your family in their time of grief. Rest In Peace my friend.

Patricia Porr Singer

2 months ago

Sir, I have not had the chance to meet me. You are an amazing man raising children and doing the other things you liked doing! As Sarah’s Aunt Patty, I want to thank you and your wife for raising a fine young woman. Sending virtual love, hugs and prayers for all of the family.

Diane Golinski

2 months ago

OY to you George, one last time!! I hope you know how many of us will truly miss you. Loved seeing you in your yard or messing around in your garage. Enjoyed your stories. It was a sad day indeed to hear you had passed. The hood won’t be the same without you in it. Much love goes out to your family.

Sara Harrell

2 months ago

Sue and family, So sad for your loss. George meant so much to the Boy Scouts he mentored. He will be remembered with thankful hearts for his service and encouragement to those young men.

Jeff Harrell

2 months ago

Sue, Ben, Callie, I am so sorry for your loss.”Mr. McDonald” was a great mentor for me in the Scouts, and he got me through some rough parts of my teens. I was remembering the times we would get “too big for our britches” and he would challenge us to a footrace. He’d let us get a head start and then absolutely smoke us with those long legs of his. And one night Ben and I snuck out of our tents, moving SO QUIETLY, until we got near Mr. McDonald’s tent and we heard him pipe up “Know where your bunk is?” “Yes sir.” “Well, get to it.” He had been sitting outside his tent like he knew what we were planning. Foiled again! And I’ll never forget the 6′ tall campfires he built for my eagle ceremony. He was a great friend that I still think about often.

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Carl McEwen Ellington Sr.

President of Ellington Funeral Services

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