Old Orchard Beach, Arthur James MacDonald, “Mac”, owner of MacDonald’s Garage in Old Orchard Beach lost his courageous battle with cancer at home, surrounded by his clan. Born on January 5, 1938, at 171 Portland Avenue, Dad lived in his family home for his entire life and slept in the room he was born in. He was a 1956 graduate of Old Orchard Beach High School and attended SMVTI to study auto mechanics. He met the love of his life, Leata Gagner, and they married in 1962 and shared 57 years together in Old Orchard Beach. As the most devoted Dad to five children, he was the epitome of fatherhood. He loved with all he had and made a lifetime of sacrifices to provide the best life for his wife and children.
In September of 1976, Dad and Mom took a leap of faith and purchased what is now MacDonald’s Garage when times were a bit harder than today. They worked together every day. When asked about the purchase, he told the story that he wanted to make sure the kids all had jobs and a safe place to make a living. Forty three years later, his legacy continues to live on as is the traditions of family that he instilled. His family extended well into the community, with many people referring to him as “Dad” and some were honored with one of his magical “Dad hugs”.
Over the years, he has made lasting impressions on the community, not only as a hard-working small business owner, a member of the planning board, but most importantly as a good friend and neighbor to all who had the privilege of knowing him. If anyone in the community needed a helping hand with a plow out, or being pulled from Plante’s Pond or a boost at 3 o’clock in the morning, the guy to call was Mac. His love for Old Orchard Beach made him a beachboy forever and a pillar of the community. He was also a member of the National Guard.
Dad will forever be remembered as the one to get things done and if he said he will do it he did. His loyalty was admired by all who really knew him. His promises were golden and his work ethic continues to be second to none. He opened up the family business 7 days a week with his daughter, Debbie, always with a smile and loved chatting with friends as he poured them a cup of coffee each morning. Dad cherished the time spent working alongside his family, but he also loved growing vegetables in the garden, going fishing and hunting and collecting Chevrolet cars. On Labor Day each year at high noon, Dad closed the family business for a one-week vacation. He made sure we had family time together around a campfire roasting hotdogs and pitching horseshoes at the camp on Sebago Lake. He often said, “We may not have it all together, but together we have it all” and with that simple sentence, he leaves us with a great gift to live by.
He is predeceased by his mother, Ellen “Nellie” and his father, Clyde MacDonald, Sr., and his beloved grandson, Eric MacDonald, in 2018. He is survived by his loving wife, Leata, and his five children—Scott, Debbie, Todd, Sharri and Nikki; also, his siblings—Clyde, Jr., Dorothy (Hunt), and George MacDonald, and several grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and nieces and nephews.
Friends and relatives may call at the Old Orchard Beach Funeral Home 36 Portland Ave, Old Orchard Beach Friday June 7, 2019 from 4 to 7 PM.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday June 8, 20109 at 10:00 AM at St. Margaret’s Church Good Shepherd Parish, Old Orchard Beach Maine.
Private family burial will be held at a later date at Laurel Hill Cemetery.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Arthur James MacDonald, please visit our floral store.