John Thomas MacDonald, beloved husband, father, and grandfather, moved on to greener pastures Monday afternoon, April 29, 2019, peacefully at home with family after a long illness. He was 79 years old.
Born in Gloucester, Mass. on Aug. 18, 1939, John developed a love of agriculture and civic engagement at an early age that would follow him throughout his life. After graduating from Essex County Agricultural School in 1957, he went on to earn an Associate’s Degree in Dairy Technology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1961. During this time, he also served in the Army Reserves and as a Boy Scout Assistant Troop Leader.
John worked as Plant Manager at White Farms Dairy in Ipswich, Mass. for 12 years before finally pursuing his dream of owning his own dairy farm. In 1974, John and his family moved to Avon, Maine where they owned and operated a dairy farm located along the beautiful Sandy River nestled within the Longfellow Mountains.
While working the farm, John was also an active board member on the National Farmers Organization, Advisory Board for the Franklin County Extension Service, and served many years as a Town of Avon Officer in such positions as Selectman, Assessor, Overseer of the Poor, Deputy Fire Warden, Director of Civil Emergency Preparedness, Animal Control Officer, and town Snow Plow Operator. Kind and humble, with a ready smile and gentle laugh, John was a person who could be relied on.
In retirement, John moved to Brasstown, in 1999, where he continued to work the land cultivating bountiful vegetable gardens and pursuing his interest in woodworking.Not one to let grass grow under his feet, John immediately joined the Brasstown Volunteer Firefighters and in 2017, received an award in appreciation of his many years of service as Firefighter, Assistant Chief, and President of the Board of Directors.
John is survived by his devoted and loving wife of 58 years, Louise Landford MacDonald of Brasstown; three adoring children: Dana Hanford and husband, Reid, of Ivoryton, Conn.,; Karen Brady and husband, Ty, of Webster, Mass.,; Thomas MacDonald and wife, Amy, of Naperville, Ill. He had five cherished grandchildren: Lydia Tonkonow, Alexa Brady, Heather MacDonald, Ian MacDonald, and Ashley MacDonald. He is predeceased by his mother, Lydia Boyd Sweeney, stepfather Walter Sweeney, and brother James Henry MacDonald.
Please join John’s family on from 4-6 p.m. Friday, at the Brasstown Community Civic Center, 255 Settawig Road, Brasstown, NC, for a visitation gathering. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Brasstown Fire Department, P.O. Box 55, Brasstown, NC 28902 for their building fund.
Cochran Funeral Home of Murphy is honored to be serving the family.