Roland ‘Mac’ McEldowney died at the age of 78 on Sunday, February 3, 2019 surrounded by his family. He loved his family and friends dearly. Many in the Evergreen community will remember Mac for his long-time membership and work with Blue Spruce Kiwanis, his support of the Evergreen Center for the Arts, and his stunning photography of African peoples, animals, and landscapes.
Mac was born in Newton, Massachusetts on November 14, 1940. His love of the natural world led him to a career as an exploration geologist. He began his lifelong adventures in Africa by traveling to Ghana, W. Africa with the 1963 class of the U.S Peace Corps. He spent 2 years mapping ore deposits for the Ghanaian government, drilling the bauxite deposits by hand. Mac summited Mt. Kilimanjaro during his Peace Corps experience and considered that a major life accomplishment. On the way back to the U.S. he met his future wife, Barbara McEldowney, in Paris. Never one to waste time, within a few days he had proposed to Barbara. They spent the next 53 years happily exploring the world and raising a family together.
Mac was an adventurer, an eternal optimist, and risk-taker. Coming back from Africa with his young wife, he started a Master’s thesis working in northern Baja, Mexico. While there he made a discovery of marine fossils, proving that the Baja peninsula was once under the Pacific Ocean and had been uplifted. Mac started several mineral exploration companies, designed and minted coins, built a cabin, re-developed a gold ore deposit outside of Bibiani, Ghana and retired at the age of 55 after being charged by an elephant in Burkino Faso. In retirement Mac reinvented himself and began his second career as a professional photographer. His love of people and the natural world is evident in his subject matter; specializing in images of African tribes, southwestern Native American tribes, African wildlife, and African and western U.S. landscapes.
Mac is survived by his wife Barbara; children Richard (Phoebe), Scott (Lisa), and Katie (Shawn); sister Marcia (Jim); grandchildren Kailien (Sean), Ramsay (Justine), Saylor, Cameron, and Ritter; and a great-granddaughter Skaia. His family and friends will miss him.
A celebration of life for Mac will be held at 1pm on Sunday, February 10th at Wind Crest Retirement Community in the Red Rocks, High Line Overlook building, 2975 Summer Wind Lane, Highlands Ranch, CO 80129.