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David Ashley Macdonald


David Ashley Macdonald, age 94 passed away Saturday, June 1, 2024. He was preceded in death by his younger brother, Bruce Ian Macdonald of Spring Lake, MI and survived by his older sister, Marian Macdonald Fagan of Muskegon, MI.

David was the child of Marian Ashley Macdonald and David Archibald Macdonald, born in Muskegon on April 15, 1930.

David left Muskegon at the age of 16, in 1946, and attended the University of Chicago. He then attended Oxford University in England. Upon his return to the states, he attended and graduated from Harvard Law School.

He was subsequently hired by Bethlehem Steel Company where he became Assistant General Counsel. David worked on five continents for them, using and developing his remarkable language skills along the way.

Upon his retirement, David left Bethlehem, PA and returned to West Michigan, residing in East Grand Rapids until his unfortunate death. David generously assisted his numerous nieces and nephews (and grand-nieces and grand-nephews) to travel extensively, often accompanying his young charges throughout Europe. David was forever teaching languages and otherwise. David was fluent in five or six European languages and did not shy from learning Russian, Mandarin, Arabic, and Thai among his non-European tongues. David was also a brilliant mathematician and studied it his entire life.

David was an able bicyclist well into his 80’s and saw much of the world on two wheels.

Finally, David was a convert to the Catholic faith in his 40’s. By example he encouraged many of his kin and friends to become Catholics. While occasionally sparring with the church, and even engaging in name-calling, he, shortly before his death, reconciled to her, receiving the church’s last rites and Apostolic Pardon before he died.

He leaves behind many friends and much family who love him still and pray for him. May he rest in the peace of Christ.

Mass of Christian Burial will take place 11:00 am, Friday, June 7, 2024, at St. Stephen Catholic Church, 750 Gladstone Dr SE, East Grand Rapids, MI 49506 with visitation one-hour prior. Rev. Scott Nolan presiding. Interment at Restlawn Cemetery.

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