MAC DONALD, Paul William of Reading, MA, passed away peacefully among family in the early morning of January 14th, 2023, due to complications from lung cancer. Paul was born in Malden on July 12, 1947, son of the late Maurice MacDonald and Frances MacDonald-Ward (Surrette), beloved father of Juelanne (Steven) Schwartz, and James (Noriko) MacDonald, stepchildren Melanie and Thomas Dixey, and brother of the late Helen (Paul) Farrahar, Charles (Margot) MacDonald, and Robert (JoAnn) Ward. He leaves behind grandchildren Brittaney, Veronica, Nathaniel (Perry), Sage, Robyn, and Tyler, great-grandchild Mia, also nieces and nephews Sandra, Laura, Debora, Suzanne, Jean, Benjamin, and Nathaniel (Ward)., former spouses Margaret and Michele, and his loving and devoted partner of 30 years, Laura Weldon.
Paul was a lifelong Massachusetts resident, living in Malden, Wakefield, Boston, North Reading, and Salem, eventually settling in Reading. He was a graduate of Cathedral High School in Boston and attended Northeastern University and served six years in the National Guard.
Though Paul had a long career at MIT as a Property Office Administrator, his true passion was music. He was a prolific drummer, musician, and entertainer. Coming from a musical family, he joined his first band at the age of 13 and was subsequently a member of Four on the Floor, Little Rock, The Celticaires, The Black Velvet Band, Kalabash, and BackTrack. Well known at venues across the northeast, the majority of his musical career consisted of playing a fusion of Irish American and old-time iconic music.
Paul was a passionate devotee and student of Rock & Roll since its inception, which was cemented with the arrival of The Beatles in the 1960s. He and his guitar were frequently requested at parties and many other social gatherings. He would also sit in with other musicians providing rhythm guitar and harmony. The impact and importance of music in Paul's life cannot be overstated. Through it he both received and gave an immense amount of joy.
For almost 40 years Paul was a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians (Salem), holding positions as State Vice President, Treasurer, and Historian. He also served as Essex County President, and as Captain of the State Color Guard. He was also a member of the Elks (Melrose).
Paul had the Irish “gift of gab” and would strike up conversation with anyone, anywhere, resulting in an expansive network of acquaintances. Paul knew no strangers and it was not uncommon for him to encounter people he knew wherever his travels took him. Fellow drummers and musicians would often spot him from afar while sporting his Zildjian baseball cap.
He was a lifelong Red Sox fan, and an equally avid fan of the Bruins, and was known to yell at the TV in support (or frustration) of his teams.
In parting words we say "Fill to me the parting glass and gather as the evening falls, and gently rise and softly call goodnight and joy be to you all."
His funeral mass will be celebrated at St. joseph Church, 770 Salem St., Malden on Saturday January 28, at 11 o’clock. Interment Forest Dale Cemetery, Malden, Visitation for relatives and friends will be held at the McDonald Funeral Home, 19 Yale Ave., Wakefield on Friday January 27, from 4-7 p.m.
In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to Mission of Deeds (Reading MA) St. Jude’s Children Hospital, World Wildlife Fund, or Stand UP to Cancer
In parting words we say “Fill to me the parting glass and gather as the evening falls, and gently rise and softly call goodnight and joy be to you all.”