James Joseph (Jim) McDonald, 76, of Edmond, Okla., passed away quickly on the last day of 2013 to begin the new year and all of eternity in the hands of his Lord and savior Jesus Christ.
Jim was born October 26, 1937 in his grandparent’s home in Lonoke, Ark. to Burney and Mae McDonald.
He graduated from North Little Rock High School in 1955 and left the next day for basic training in the Air National Guard. He returned three months later and began working for Union National Bank in Little Rock at age 17. The business of banking was a natural fit and he continued his education by graduating from the LSU School of Banking. With the exception of a short stint in the retail clothing business, this began a long career in banking that sustained him until his death.
In 1991 Jim and his wife, Janet, moved to Muskogee and then to Edmond, to pursue his opportunities in banking. His final days were spent as an employee with the Kirkpatrick Bank family.
Oklahoma embraced Jim and Janet and it quickly became home as they became involved in the warmth of the Edmond community and their church home. Jim loved Sooner football and Thunder basketball and you could always expect Sports Animal to be playing on his car radio.
He enjoyed reading, being the garden preparer for his and Janet’s garden and being at home where they enjoyed preparing meals together and taking care of his beloved schnauzer, Gracie. Traveling by way of cruising was his favorite way to vacation. Jim was a true gentlemen in every since of the word whose charm and demeanor was a profound influence on many persons of all ages. Known as “PaPa” to his grandchildren he especially loved preparing his special “PaPa” breakfast for them.
He was an active member of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Edmond. Jim’s faith sustained him in ways that anyone that knew him could feel it. Over the years he served in many capacities within the church from Sunday school teacher, acolyte master, youth leader, reader, and chalice bearer.
He is survived by his wife Janet; his sister, Joy Skarda of Little Rock, Ark.; his father-in-law, Fred Cooley and wife Margaret of DeBary, Fla.; his children Jim McDonald, Jr. and wife Carole of Little Rock, Shannon Grimmett and husband Chris of North Little Rock, Michael McDonald and wife Micah of Blue Lake, Calif.; his grandchildren Lucas, Day, Landon, Heather, Chloe, Keaton, Paxton, Phoenix, Jodi and Taylor; a whole host of nieces, nephews and, his schnauzer, Gracie.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, January 7, at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 325 E. 1st Street, Edmond. A reception will follow.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers that memorial contributions be made to the Jim McDonald Memorial Fund at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Edmond. Condolences can be left for the family at matthewsfuneralhome.com.
Services are under the direction of Matthews Funeral Home in Edmond.