James Lawrence McDonald

July 29, 1930December 1, 2012

James Lawrence McDonald died at home with his family at his bedside on December 1st after a 4 year battle with cancer. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Jim attended St. Ignatius High School and John Carroll University. He served as a fighter pilot in the U.S. Navy for 28 years, commanding VA-741 and rising to the rank of Captain. Jim later earned a Masters of Business Administration from the University of North Florida. He worked for several national brokerage firms before completing his business career as head of McDonald Financial Services. Throughout his life Jim was actively involved in community service. He served as head of the San Jose Catholic School board, was a long-time member of Sertoma, Bishop Kenny High School Boosters, and the San Jose Country Club and was Commodore of the San Jose Yacht Club. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Lawrence and Clara McDonald, and his brother Thomas McDonald and his wife of 44 years, Mary Wells McDonald. Jim leaves behind his beloved wife of 8 years, Harriet Jones McDonald, and his 4 children: James McDonald of Santa Fe, Kathleen McDonald Troy (Gregg) of Gainesville, Thomas McDonald of San Francisco and John McDonald (Collette) of Atlanta, and his sister Mary McDonald Peel of Denver. He is further survived by his step-children: Jennifer Jones of Jacksonville, Courtney Jones of Stewart, and Kendall Jones Brees (Scott) of Chapel Hill, and 7 grandchildren: Patrick, Geoffrey and Ryan Troy, Declan and Pierce McDonald, and Kathryn and Rebecca Brees. Visitation will be held December 5th at 6:30pm at San Jose Catholic Church with Rosary and Vigil services at 7:00pm. The Funeral Mass will be celebrated in San Jose Catholic Church at 11am Thursday, December 6th with Father Michael Houle as celebrant. Memorial donations in James McDonald s name should be made to Bishop Kenny High School. Words of comfort may be left at HARDAGE-GIDDENS, THE OAKLAWN CHAPEL, 4801 San Jose Boulevard is serving the family.


  • Visitation Wednesday, December 5, 2012
  • Memorial Service Thursday, December 6, 2012

James Lawrence McDonald

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Malcolm Wright CPO Retired

December 9, 2012

A real asset to our squdron and the Navy
Smooth sailing

Jerry Houston

December 9, 2012

With much respect and admiration for a fellow VF-103 "Slugger." Save me a seat.

Bert & Karen Smith

December 6, 2012

Harriet and family, I am so sorry for your loss.Please take comfort in the love your family and friends have for you and Jim. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

December 6, 2012


Margaret Black

December 5, 2012

I worked with Jim at Dean Witter - he was a smart man with a dry wit. He was a good man.
Mag Black

December 5, 2012

Kayo & I wanted each of you in Jim's family know how saddened we are to read of his death. Thank goodness he was surrounded by family at his bedside when he died. We have fond membories of raising our children at the same time he & Mary were raising y'all. We cannot be at the visitation, but will certainly be at the service Thurs morning. God bless each of you & Harriett for all y'all did for him. Love, Sara & Kayo Foshee


December 5, 2012

We've been given the grace to grieve, to put the sorrow in a safe place, and to live our lives with the happy memories of love and laughter for those who pass. Jimmy-Jim, you and your family are in my heart.

Frank Cellon

December 5, 2012

Missy, Gregg, & Boys, I was sorry to read the news of your loss. Please accept my deepest sympathy. I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers.

Reynolds Hafner

December 5, 2012

By Gerard Manley Hopkins

I have desired to go
Where springs not fail,
To fields where flies no sharp and sided hail,
And a few lilies blow.

And I have asked to be
Where no storms come,
Where the green swell is in the havens dumb,
And out of the swing of the sea.

All my love, Jimmy,

Mary-Martha Bahn

December 5, 2012

Uncle Jim, I will miss you more than you know. Thank you for being there for us always. May you enjoy the rewards of heaven, they are well deserved.