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Dave MacDonald

Apr 11th 1943 — Mar 7th 2024 (80 years)


It is with great sorrow that we announce the sudden passing of John David (Dave) MacDonald. A proud East Coast native who spent the final decade of his life living happily in BC, Dave was many things throughout his life, including a talented athlete and musician; a beloved son, brother and uncle; a cherished and loving father, grandfather and great grandfather; a lawyer, entrepreneur and arbitrator; and, a loyal friend. But above all, Dave was the one true love, best friend and chosen dance partner of his beautiful wife, Linda, for more than 53 years. From the moment it began, their love burned bright, instantly obvious and truly inspiring to all who knew them. It is the axis around which his life orbited.

Dave was born in 1943 in New Waterford, NS on Cape Breton Island, the youngest child of Mae and Miley MacDonald and baby brother to Elmer, George, Ray and Edna.

From an early age, Dave followed the influence of his father and older brothers in the pursuit of music as a lifelong hobby. Dave learned to play trumpet as a young Sea Cadet and later turned to flugelhorn as his chosen instrument. His talent would see him included as one of the youngest members of The Acadians, a favourite dance orchestra on Cape Breton Island from the mid 50s to mid 60s. He would continue to play throughout his life, with some of his fondest music moments including jam sessions with his older brothers, and friend and father figure, Rudy Pace. Always striving to improve his craft, Dave was equally content to play at home, never passing up an opportunity to serenade Linda with his rendition of their song.

A talented athlete, Dave helped take New Waterford’s Central High School basketball team to two provincial titles and a Canadian Juvenile Championship. Post high school, Dave went on to play as starting point guard and team captain with the Dalhousie University Tigers. During his time in Halifax, he also started for the Halifax Schooners, leading the team to two Canadian senior "B" titles. Dave was the quarterback of any team he played for and a member of four provincial championship teams and three Canadian championship clubs. In 2023, Dave was immensely proud to have been inducted into the New Waterford Sports Hall of Fame.

In 1968, Dave graduated from Dalhousie Law School and moved to Toronto where he was successfully called to the bar at Osgoode Hall. In early 1970, Dave walked into the law offices of Jack Reingold in downtown Toronto in search of an office space. The kind, outgoing and beautiful young woman covering the reception desk at the time would dazzle him with her million dollar smile and make it an easy decision. Dave would secure the office space, and shortly thereafter, the heart of that young woman, Linda Douglas. A few short months later, he would ask Linda to be his wife and the two were married in December of that same year.

In 1971, Dave and Linda would welcome their first daughter, April, and would move back to Cape Breton Island. A second daughter, Heather, would follow four years later. A ferociously proud father, Dave’s girls would never doubt his love. He would instill in them a strong sense of self and an unwavering commitment to family. These traits have been passed on to his five grandsons, Alex, Mason, Shawn, Finlay and Connor, and will surely be instilled in great grandson, Sullivan.

In 2008, Dave and Linda would leave Cape Breton and move to Truro, NS where they would continue to live until 2013, when they made the move across the country to Richmond, BC. Whether East Coast or West Coast based, Dave remained committed to family and friends near and far, including Courtney and Karen Mason, Isaac and Liz Cormier, Roger and Lorraine Guyaux, Melvin and Anna Cormier, John Ivany and Brian Coleman. Those enduring friendships meant the world to him. For the past decade, Dave has had the pleasure of establishing strong new friendships, particularly with the many members of the Richmond Forever Young Running/Walking Club.

Dave is survived by his adoring wife, Linda; daughters and sons-in-law April and Lorne Smith-MacDonald, and Heather and Chris Harley; grandsons Alex, Mason and Shawn Bates and Finlay and Connor Harley; granddaughters-in-law Alyzza Lapitan, Machaela Bates and Shianne Ross; great grandson Sullivan Bates; brothers Elmer, George MacDonald and Ray MacDonald; sisters-in-law Sylvia MacDonald and Kathleen MacDonald; and numerous nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by parents Mae and Miley MacDonald, sister Edna Burns and husband Frank, and sisters-in-law, Amy MacDonald and Margaret (Peggy) MacDonald.

A celebration of life will be planned at a later date. Until then, please keep the music playing and if the opportunity arises, dance with the ones you love. It’s what Dave would have wanted.


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