Ronald Emanuel “Mac” MacDonald, 92, passed away Aug. 9, 2019, in Lacey, Wash. Mac, as he was called by many, was a resident of Tumwater for 39 years. He was born Sept. 12, 1926, in the Bronx, New York, to Colin and Anna MacDonald, and was the second of five siblings.
In 1931, the family moved from New York City to Seaside, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. Ron lived there until 1943, when he joined the United States Merchant Marines, serving until World War II concluded. Ron also served in the Korean War as a U.S. Air Force radio broadcaster. In 1954, he married Borghild Rolseth in Libby, Mont. They had five children together.
Ron had a successful career in radio as a DJ and program director at KREM from 1957 to 1962 in Spokane, KIRO from 1962 to 1969 in Seattle, and KNBR in San Francisco 1969 to 1971. After radio, he had a career working for the state of Washington, including establishing the Missing Children’s Department for the Washington State Patrol. Inspired by his daughter’s autism, Ron was instrumental in the foundation of the first school for mentally handicapped children in the region, the NW Center for Retarded Children in Seattle. It was one of his proudest accomplishments.
Ron loved golf, playing at numerous courses in the Northwest including many years at Riverside Golf & County Club in Chehalis. His trip to play St. Andrews in Scotland was a life highlight. In 1980, he met Oneta Bunnell and began a “40 year love affair with my darlin’ girl,” as he often said. They enjoyed their Persian cats and a rich social life together.
Ron is preceded in death by his parents; sister, Gloria; brother, Eddie; sister, Doris; and daughter, Mary.
He is survived by life partner, Oneta Bunnell; youngest sister, Joyce (Ted); daughter, Ann; sons, Colin (Deb), Scott (Amy) and Kyle (Becky); 10 grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren (and still counting).
A memorial service will be held Friday, Aug. 23, from 11:30 a.m., to 12:30 p.m., with a reception to follow from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., at Mills and Mills Funeral Home, 5725 Little Rock Rd. SW, Tumwater, WA 98512. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in memory of Ron to Special Olympics.