“Coach Mac” James R “Mac” MacDonald died Tuesday January 14, 2014 at his home in Earlysville. Mac was born in Willimantic, CT on October 20, 1944. After an indifferent scholastic career, he became an inspired, distinguished and passionate teacher, coach and administrator. He graduated from Union College in Schenectady, NY; then fell into teaching because he spoke fluent Spanish which he’d learned while working on the tobacco fields in Connecticut in the summers.
His teaching & coaching spanned 42 years at 3 schools: Eaglebrook in Deerfield, MA, Episcopal High School in Alexandria, VA and St. Anne’s Belfield School in Charlottesville. During his career, he received many accolades; most notably the Malone Prize from St. Anne’s for not only his classroom & athletic contributions, but also his behind the scenes talents—especially setting up sound systems. He loved St. Anne’s; and he also loved coaching football and lacrosse.
His calling to help people came full circle when he returned to EMS through Scottsville Volunteer Rescue Squad. Mac had been an EMT previously, serving in Washington, DC. He served at SVRS as an EMT-Enhanced level provider, and also in the roles of Chief and President. Mac ran countless hours and hundreds of 911 calls, always leading by example in his commitment to the agency and the best interest of the patient. Prior to the rescue squad, he taught motorcycle rider safety classes for Albemarle County. Among his other talents, he possessed a beautiful singing voice and he had been lead singer in a rock n roll band in college.
Mac is survived by his wife of 45 years, Joyce MacDonald; his mother, Lorraine MacDonald and sister, Maria Donaldi, both of New York City. Over the years, he has been devoted to his cats and is survived by Jessie (kitty).
Beloved teacher & coach, dedicated EMT & faithful cat owner, Mac will be missed by all who knew him.
5 thoughts on “James MacDonald ’63”
Very sorry too read this. He was a good guy.
He and Inky will sing up a storm.
Sure enjoyed playing football and lacrosse with Jim. I’m not surprised to learn he had such a varied and distinguished career. My best to Joyce.
Jim was a sweet guy and everybody liked him. I remember many bull sessions in his room in Ford Hall
All guitar players have a special bond. I’am saddened to hear that this classmate of mine has passed on.