Nov. 15, 1944 - Nov. 17, 2010
Claud Ernest McDonald, age 66, of Milton-Freewater, passed away on Nov. 17, 2010, in the presence of his wife from a heart attack. He was hunting in Emigrant, Mont., and had bagged a 6-point elk earlier that morning, and went on to shoot a buck deer just before he collapsed.
He was born in Stella, Mo., to Carus Alexander and Hazel Ethel Brallier McDonald. The second youngest of nine children, Claud attended local schools until the age of 15 when he came to Oregon for the pea harvest. Several years later, he permanently settled in the Valley and was employed by various, local farmers. A logger deep down, he began employment in 1977 with Louisiana-Pacific in Walla Walla driving log truck; became a mill right; and then was a laturno
operator. When the mill in Walla Walla closed, he transferred to Louisiana-Pacific in Pilot Rock, Ore. He also moved back to Missouri for a short time in between in 1981 to be closer to his family. While there, he went into business with his brothers at McDonald Brother's Garage, before returning to Milton-Freewater.
In 1996, he opened his own automotive mechanic shop in Milton-Freewater, McDonald Garage, where he was still working at the time of his death.
Hunting and fishing were his passion. He began a tradition in 1993 of vacationing in Alaska to fish for halibut and would return each and every summer. In earlier years, he was an avid racer, garnering countless trophies in local demo derbies and dirt track races. He enjoyed the mountains and would spend his summer cutting firewood for a hobby. He also looked forward to his trips to Mt. Adams to pick huckleberries.
He married Lisa Rene' Simmons in Dixie, on her parent's anniversary, May 25, 2005. They enjoyed the outdoors together, gardening, snowmobiling and spending time at their cabin.
He remained close with his family and made a point to attend the McDonald reunions each year, giving him the opportunity to travel to many places, including: Niagara Falls, Las Vegas, Branson, Michigan,
Tennessee, Colorado, Yellowstone and Texas, to name a few.
He called himself a "Missouri Mule," but at the same time, you would not find a softer heart on anyone. He had three children and five grandchildren he loved dearly and held a special fondness for, always enjoying those special trips to Pizza Hut and instilling the love of hunting in his children and their children. Claud has helped many people out in their time of need over the years and he will be greatly missed.
He is survived by his wife at their home; son, Dwayne McDonald of Kennewick; and daughters, LaNita McDonald of Scottsbluff, Neb., and Leah Croft of Kennewick; grandchildren, Dalton McDonald of Kennewick, Nisha and Cody Bowman of Scottsbluff, and Dakota and Shailey Rhoads of Kennewick; father-in-law, Gary Simmons of Walla Walla; brother and sister-in-law, Danny Ray and Betty McDonald of Long Point, Ill.; sisters and brother-in-laws, Geneva and Norm Lindsey and Vivian and Kenneth Wilson of Jenkins, Mo., and Shirley and John Sass of Kansas
City, Kan.; brother-in-law, Greg Simmons of Walla Walla; brother-in-law and sister-in-law Jeff and Stephanie Simmons of College Place; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Bobby O'Dell McDonald and Carus McDonald; sisters, Betty Jean Pinkston and Leta Rose Smith; and niece, Cindy McDonald.
A celebration of life will be on Sunday, Nov. 28, 2010, at Claud's residence of the last 25 years. This gathering of family and friends will be held from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice or Oregon Special Olympics.