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Acacia Memorial Park & Funeral Home

14951 Bothell Way Ne, Seattle, WA

OBITUARY

Donald MacLeod Mackay

May 22, 1925October 25, 2019

A memorial service for Donald will be held at 10:00 on Friday, November 22 at 10:00 at Acacia Funeral Home located at 14591 Bothell Way NE, Seattle. A reception will follow.

Donald Macleod Mackay was born on May 22, 1925 on the High Street in Edinburgh, Scotland to Donald Macleod Mackay and Agnes (Carson) Mackay. He was the eldest of three boys. He was close to his brother, Ronald. His youngest brother, Ian, died in infancy. The family lived at 16 Calton Hill where the young boys played on the hill climbing on old cannons and around the monuments. Later, he lived at 34 Lauriston Place and finally at 32 Lauriston Place where his mother ran a boarding house for many years after working in the hospitality industry. His father was a piper in the Argyle and Southern Highlanders during WW1. He won medals for his piping and dancing and performed on stage. Later he worked as a tram and bus conductor and driver for the Edinburgh Corporation. Donnie, as he was called, attended New Start School and Greenside Church as a youngster. In 1936 he was off to boarding school at Queen Victoria School in Dunblane. The school was for armed servicemen’s children and Donnie was there from the age of 11-15. He learned his skills of dancing and playing the bagpipes while at school. His favourite subject was history. His brother, Ronnie, also attended school with him when he was old enough. Queen Victoria School became very special to Don in later life as he attended the Grand Parade in June on many occasions. He was very proud of his school and enjoyed being one of the Old Boys. His early jobs were working part time at Toll Cross in a radio shop and working in the dining room serving coffee at the Royal British Hotel in Princess Street while studying at Leith Nautical College for two years to train as an electrician; unfortunately he was unable to finish the 4 year course. During World War II, Don volunteered for the Navy because he liked the uniform. He was called up just before he turned 18 in 1942. He trained in Norfolk. As he’d gone to Queen Victoria School he was made the drill instructor on his first day until his group graduated. Don attended a Commission Warrant Officers Course in North Wales. He completed gunnery school, a Morse code course and a flags course. Unfortunately, he sustained an eye injury and failed the eye test, so he was dropped from the Officers’ training course. He transferred to the Fleet Air Arm and was trained to maintain all the electrical system and instruments on the planes. He was shipped to India in 1945 where he worked on the planes at night as the weather was too hot during the day...much too hot for a boy from Edinburgh! In March, in returned from India and was discharged from the Navy in June, 1946. At the end of 1942, Donnie met Helen Bargon, who was to become the love of his life and partner of 64 years. Helen was Tommy Down’s girl. Donnie helped him write letters to her as he had a way with words, but even Don’s smooth writing couldn’t win her heart for Tommy. Donnie and Helen started going out after he joined the Navy and after his first several letters to her, she recognised the style and realised that it had been Donnie writing those letters all along and not Tommy writing to her before. Helen fell in love with his sense of humour, he made her laugh. They married on a snowy January 9, 1945 at the Chamber Street Registry Office in a low key ceremony. Helen’s sister and brother in law, Nancy and Jimmy Philips, were the witnesses. They went to the Royal British Hotel for an early dinner and moved into Lauriston Place with Don’s parents. The following summer, they had a wonderful holiday to England after Donnie won a bit of money in the pools. They stayed with Don’s Aunty Mary in Northampton. Helen registered for a prefabricated home as soon as possible. They moved in after their son, Ian was born in 1947. Their daughter, Marilyn made the family complete in 1951. They settled into married life at 28 Moredun Park Grove, Gilmerton. Donnie loved his garden and surrounded the house with flowers. He set up a fish tank and loved watching his fish, especially his angel fish. Don worked as a conductor and then as a bus driver for SMT where he did long distance driving and tours. Don always prided himself on his driving ability and was an amazing parallel parker...he was always very confident on the road and bent the rules just a bit, so it could be a bit scary as a passenger! Once when he and Helen were on a bus tour in the highlands of Scotland the bus driver couldn’t turn the bus around in the narrow country road, so Don did it for him...teaching the driver how it’s done! He gave up driving at 92 realising his reflexes weren’t up to par and he might cause an accident which could injure others. Donnie and Helen immigrated to Seattle to join Helen’s sister, Nancy and her family, in 1956. First they rented in the Wallingford area before buying a house in Greenwood. Unfortunately, Don couldn’t secure his dream job at Boeings in their electrical department as he wasn’t a US citizen, so he found employment elsewhere. Don found employment at a small electrical company, worked with his brother-in-law making doors and windows, then did fitting and turning and moved on to sheet metal work making candle moulds. Making candles became a hobby for many years...Ian still has some of those candles which were to be admired, not burned. Don then began working in schools as a custodian at Mercer Island High School and then in Shoreline School District. Don retired in 1996 at 66 years old. Playing the bagpipes was his passion. His fingers never stopped practising...on his chanter, at the table, on his chair and on the car steering wheel...anywhere and everywhere! For many years Don was part of the Washington Scottish Pipe Band and then the Keith Pipe Band, where he met his lifelong friend Lyle Burt. While working in the Shoreline District he taught music and directed the Shorecrest Pipe Band. He was very proud to have taken his pipe band to the Rosebowl Parade and Presidential Parade. He formed a close relationship with many of his students; several visiting just before his passing. Don and Helen became a part of many of their lives and he cherished his time with each of his old students. Uncle Don, as they called him, gave them his time and love and it was returned to him many times over...a great tribute to his teaching career. Don and Helen’s marriage had its ups and downs...but through all of their troubles they stood by each other until the end. Don loved Helen greatly and cared for her at home for as long as possible. When Helen entered a nursing home, Don made two daily trips to see her. He helped her with lunch, walked with her, chatted to her and other patients and then headed home to attend to his beloved dog, Pipie, a West Highland terrier. After a few hours with the Pipie he returned to help Helen with her dinner and put her to bed...he even warmed her bed up each night with the hair dryer just before she snuggled down for the night. Day in and day out, he was there until she passed away. He showed great devotion and love during those final years. Don said it was his time to give back to Helen for all her hard work. Donald worked hard to give his children, Ian and Marilyn, the best life they could have in a new country. He left behind his family to allow them to pursue the American dream. He was proud of their accomplishments and talked to anyone who would listen about his children. Marilyn was his wee lassie and they shared many hours involved in Scottish activities...Highland dancing, Highland dancing competitions, Scottish country dancing and a love of Scottish traditions. Don was very proud of all that his son, Ian, accomplished with his ability as a chef, his educational achievements and his teaching. In Donald’s last few years, Ian and his wife, Mary Jane, became his support team. Don was very appreciative of all the care they gave him...and especially pleased to share their dinner table, warm fires and company! Don loved his grandchildren and they held a special place in his heart. Gavin and Fiona gave him so much joy. He loved watching them grow up and sharing time with them...all the special holidays, all the birthdays and all those special meals...a meal at Ian’s was always a great meal. Although he didn’t see David and Ryan as often, he loved them greatly and made them feel special. When his grandsons brought their partners, Leanne, Erin and Keiko, into the family, he was very pleased to see his grandsons happy. Meeting his first great grandson, Hunter, was a very special time for Don. He eventually had three great grandsons: Hunter, Lachlan and Samuel. Don couldn’t believe he was old enough to have great grandsons! He enjoyed FaceTime with them as he could watch them play and see them grow. Don continued to make yearly visits to Edinburgh throughout his life. He was very sad when he could no longer make the trip home in his late 80s. He loved catching up with family, old friends and the Old Boys of Queen Victoria School. He stayed with his mum and dad to begin with and then with his niece, Rhona, who gave him lodging for many years. He loved the company of his family. They would have many stories to tell about his trips home...a few too many drinks, lots of blethering and laughter. Don’s sense of humour was a well known trait...quick witted, loved a play on words and enjoyed making people laugh. That twinkle in his blue eyes only faded in the last few weeks...he was cheeky and loved to make people smile and laugh. Don loved Scotland and all that was Scottish. He looked good in his kilt. He wore it well...never telling what he wore underneath. Don and Helen loved their time at Scottish Country Dancing. The Highland Games was a yearly visit. He dreamed of opening a Scottish shop and bought things just in case that would happen one day. He bought tools to make his own bagpipes just in case that would happen one day. He wrote a book on learning the bagpipes for his students and thought he might have it published one day. Don was a man of dreams which carried him through life. Donald touched many lives in his 94 years. He was a son, a brother, a husband, a father, a grandfather, a great-grandfather, a co-worker, a teacher and a friend with strong connections to many people. Many people were touched in some way by him and he became a part of their journey through life. To family and friends who knew him well, they will each have their own memories of how he touched their lives and what he taught them about living. Donald is gone from our touch, gone from our sight, gone from our lives...simply our memories of him and his love remains with us.

Services

22 November

Memorial Service

10:00 am

Acacia Funeral Home

14951 Bothell Way NE
Seattle, Washington

22 November

Reception

Ian Mary Jane's House

4032 50th Ave. S.
Seattle, Washington 98118

Memories

Donald MacLeod Mackay

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Janet Backman

November 19, 2019

The Backman family, Janet, Meredeth and Marilyn send our deepest sympathy, Donald was a great friend to all.

Rhona McEwan

November 15, 2019

Uncle Don you are very sadly missed but you will always be in my Brian Sarah & Ross’s heart We all have many happy memories off you . I have informed all your friends in Leslies Bar & they all had fun memories of you having a “wee birdie “for the road & going up to the chip shop for your fish supper which was always eaten out off the paper before you came home rest in peace to a lovely Uncle .

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Biography

A memorial service for Donald will be held at 10:00 on Friday, November 22 at 10:00 at Acacia Funeral Home located at 14591 Bothell Way NE, Seattle. A reception will follow.

Donald Macleod Mackay was born on May 22, 1925 on the High Street in Edinburgh, Scotland to Donald Macleod Mackay and Agnes (Carson) Mackay. He was the eldest of three boys. He was close to his brother, Ronald. His youngest brother, Ian, died in infancy. The family lived at 16 Calton Hill where the young boys played on the hill climbing on old cannons and around the monuments. Later, he lived at 34 Lauriston Place and finally at 32 Lauriston Place where his mother ran a boarding house for many years after working in the hospitality industry. His father was a piper in the Argyle and Southern Highlanders during WW1. He won medals for his piping and dancing and performed on stage. Later he worked as a tram and bus conductor and driver for the Edinburgh Corporation.
Donnie, as he was called, attended New Start School and Greenside Church as a youngster. In 1936 he was off to boarding school at Queen Victoria School in Dunblane. The school was for armed servicemen’s children and Donnie was there from the age of 11-15. He learned his skills of dancing and playing the bagpipes while at school. His favourite subject was history. His brother, Ronnie, also attended school with him when he was old enough. Queen Victoria School became very special to Don in later life as he attended the Grand Parade in June on many occasions. He was very proud of his school and enjoyed being one of the Old Boys.
His early jobs were working part time at Toll Cross in a radio shop and working in the dining room serving coffee at the Royal British Hotel in Princess Street while studying at Leith Nautical College for two years to train as an electrician; unfortunately he was unable to finish the 4 year course.
During World War II, Don volunteered for the Navy because he liked the uniform. He was called up just before he turned 18 in 1942. He trained in Norfolk. As he’d gone to Queen Victoria School he was made the drill instructor on his first day until his group graduated. Don attended a Commission Warrant Officers Course in North Wales. He completed gunnery school, a Morse code course and a flags course. Unfortunately, he sustained an eye injury and failed the eye test, so he was dropped from the Officers’ training course. He transferred to the Fleet Air Arm and was trained to maintain all the electrical system and instruments on the planes. He was shipped to India in 1945 where he worked on the planes at night as the weather was too hot during the day...much too hot for a boy from Edinburgh! In March, in returned from India and was discharged from the Navy in June, 1946.
At the end of 1942, Donnie met Helen Bargon, who was to become the love of his life and partner of 64 years. Helen was Tommy Down’s girl. Donnie helped him write letters to her as he had a way with words, but even Don’s smooth writing couldn’t win her heart for Tommy. Donnie and Helen started going out after he joined the Navy and after his first several letters to her, she recognised the style and realised that it had been Donnie writing those letters all along and not Tommy writing to her before. Helen fell in love with his sense of humour, he made her laugh. They married on a snowy January 9, 1945 at the Chamber Street Registry Office in a low key ceremony. Helen’s sister and brother in law, Nancy and Jimmy Philips, were the witnesses. They went to the Royal British Hotel for an early dinner and moved into Lauriston Place with Don’s parents. The following summer, they had a wonderful holiday to England after Donnie won a bit of money in the pools. They stayed with Don’s Aunty Mary in Northampton.
Helen registered for a prefabricated home as soon as possible. They moved in after their son, Ian was born in 1947. Their daughter, Marilyn made the family complete in 1951. They settled into married life at 28 Moredun Park Grove, Gilmerton. Donnie loved his garden and surrounded the house with flowers. He set up a fish tank and loved watching his fish, especially his angel fish. Don worked as a conductor and then as a bus driver for SMT where he did long distance driving and tours. Don always prided himself on his driving ability and was an amazing parallel parker...he was always very confident on the road and bent the rules just a bit, so it could be a bit scary as a passenger! Once when he and Helen were on a bus tour in the highlands of Scotland the bus driver couldn’t turn the bus around in the narrow country road, so Don did it for him...teaching the driver how it’s done! He gave up driving at 92 realising his reflexes weren’t up to par and he might cause an accident which could injure others.
Donnie and Helen immigrated to Seattle to join Helen’s sister, Nancy and her family, in 1956. First they rented in the Wallingford area before buying a house in Greenwood. Unfortunately, Don couldn’t secure his dream job at Boeings in their electrical department as he wasn’t a US citizen, so he found employment elsewhere. Don found employment at a small electrical company, worked with his brother-in-law making doors and windows, then did fitting and turning and moved on to sheet metal work making candle moulds. Making candles became a hobby for many years...Ian still has some of those candles which were to be admired, not burned. Don then began working in schools as a custodian at Mercer Island High School and then in Shoreline School District. Don retired in 1996 at 66 years old.
Playing the bagpipes was his passion. His fingers never stopped practising...on his chanter, at the table, on his chair and on the car steering wheel...anywhere and everywhere! For many years Don was part of the Washington Scottish Pipe Band and then the Keith Pipe Band, where he met his lifelong friend Lyle Burt. While working in the Shoreline District he taught music and directed the Shorecrest Pipe Band. He was very proud to have taken his pipe band to the Rosebowl Parade and Presidential Parade. He formed a close relationship with many of his students; several visiting just before his passing. Don and Helen became a part of many of their lives and he cherished his time with each of his old students. Uncle Don, as they called him, gave them his time and love and it was returned to him many times over...a great tribute to his teaching career.
Don and Helen’s marriage had its ups and downs...but through all of their troubles they stood by each other until the end. Don loved Helen greatly and cared for her at home for as long as possible. When Helen entered a nursing home, Don made two daily trips to see her. He helped her with lunch, walked with her, chatted to her and other patients and then headed home to attend to his beloved dog, Pipie, a West Highland terrier. After a few hours with the Pipie he returned to help Helen with her dinner and put her to bed...he even warmed her bed up each night with the hair dryer just before she snuggled down for the night. Day in and day out, he was there until she passed away. He showed great devotion and love during those final years. Don said it was his time to give back to Helen for all her hard work.
Donald worked hard to give his children, Ian and Marilyn, the best life they could have in a new country. He left behind his family to allow them to pursue the American dream. He was proud of their accomplishments and talked to anyone who would listen about his children. Marilyn was his wee lassie and they shared many hours involved in Scottish activities...Highland dancing, Highland dancing competitions, Scottish country dancing and a love of Scottish traditions. Don was very proud of all that his son, Ian, accomplished with his ability as a chef, his educational achievements and his teaching. In Donald’s last few years, Ian and his wife, Mary Jane, became his support team. Don was very appreciative of all the care they gave him...and especially pleased to share their dinner table, warm fires and company!
Don loved his grandchildren and they held a special place in his heart. Gavin and Fiona gave him so much joy. He loved watching them grow up and sharing time with them...all the special holidays, all the birthdays and all those special meals...a meal at Ian’s was always a great meal. Although he didn’t see David and Ryan as often, he loved them greatly and made them feel special. When his grandsons brought their partners, Leanne, Erin and Keiko, into the family, he was very pleased to see his grandsons happy. Meeting his first great grandson, Hunter, was a very special time for Don. He eventually had three great grandsons: Hunter, Lachlan and Samuel. Don couldn’t believe he was old enough to have great grandsons! He enjoyed FaceTime with them as he could watch them play and see them grow.
Don continued to make yearly visits to Edinburgh throughout his life. He was very sad when he could no longer make the trip home in his late 80s. He loved catching up with family, old friends and the Old Boys of Queen Victoria School. He stayed with his mum and dad to begin with and then with his niece, Rhona, who gave him lodging for many years. He loved the company of his family. They would have many stories to tell about his trips home...a few too many drinks, lots of blethering and laughter. Don’s sense of humour was a well known trait...quick witted, loved a play on words and enjoyed making people laugh. That twinkle in his blue eyes only faded in the last few weeks...he was cheeky and loved to make people smile and laugh.
Don loved Scotland and all that was Scottish. He looked good in his kilt. He wore it well...never telling what he wore underneath. Don and Helen loved their time at Scottish Country Dancing. The Highland Games was a yearly visit. He dreamed of opening a Scottish shop and bought things just in case that would happen one day. He bought tools to make his own bagpipes just in case that would happen one day. He wrote a book on learning the bagpipes for his students and thought he might have it published one day. Don was a man of dreams which carried him through life.
Donald touched many lives in his 94 years. He was a son, a brother, a husband, a father, a grandfather, a great-grandfather, a co-worker, a teacher and a friend with strong connections to many people. Many people were touched in some way by him and he became a part of their journey through life. To family and friends who knew him well, they will each have their own memories of how he touched their lives and what he taught them about living. Donald is gone from our touch, gone from our sight, gone from our lives...simply our memories of him and his love remains with us.