Mr. Harry Ward Macdonald
Harry Ward Macdonald 1922-2015
Named after his uncle Harry Ward Cook who fell at Vimy Ridge at the age of 21, Harry Macdonald of West Vancouver, BC, died in his sleep of natural causes on January 2, 2015, at the grand old age of 92. Predeceased by his wife Jacquie and sister Marjorie, Harry is survived by sisters Jesse and Marion, his 5 daughters Dianne (Bob), Karen (Randy), Marion (John), Nancy (Robert) and Valerie (Chris), 19 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, with 3 on the way and many more to come.
Harry’s humble and generous life was full of accomplishments that he rarely spoke of himself. His sisters tell stories of helping to make ends meet with proceeds from his Vancouver Sun paper route in the early 30’s. It wasn’t long before Harry signed on with the Seaforth Highlanders and had the occasion to march in a May Day parade where he met Jacquie, who later became his wife of 65 years. Then came the war. Harry decided to “go tanks” and joined the Ontario Regiment taking him overseas in 1943. His action took him to North Africa, Sicily, through Italy and finally to the battle of Arnhem, where he won a Military Cross for bravery, a medal he received in person from the King in 1945. While honoured also with a new rank of Captain, Harry’s most treasured moment of WW2 was leading his regiment down the streets of Amsterdam for the liberation of Holland. He was 21 years old.
On his return to Canada, with an acceptance of his marriage proposal to Jacquie deep in his pocket, Harry began commerce studies at UBC and worked at Eburn sawmills as a night watchman to support his new family. In 1948 Harry was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship, taking him, Jacquie and baby Dianne to Oxford that fall. But just before he left for England on the ship, he received a phone call from Poldy Bentley, CEO of Canadian Forest Products who had seen the Rhodes announcement in the paper. Poldy offered Harry a cheque ($$ unknown) with no strings attached, just a promise to have a conversation on his return from Oxford. Hence began a 30 year career starting in Port Mellon as mill Supervisor and leading to President of Pulp and Paper sales for CANFOR in Vancouver BC. After retirement, Harry stayed connected to the industry in a variety of capacities, including managing Prince Albert Pulp and Paper for the government of Saskatchewan. Harry travelled extensively and Jacquie accompanied him from time to time: Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Europe. They had many, many friends and the family home near Horseshoe Bay was a busy place with gatherings that Harry and Jacquie hosted. Harry’s long life was a testament to his character: drop-dead gorgeous, but never vain, brilliant but never showy, rich only in the love showered on him by his extensive family who will truly miss that ever present twinkle in Harry’s eyes.
Thank you to Tahereh and Edith and the George Derby Centre caregivers. We are eternally grateful for your help and kindness in Harry’s last years. We also acknowledge the wonderful staff at Capilano Golf Club who continued to welcome Harry at his favourite place.
A celebration of Harry’s life will be held at Capilano and Country Golf Club on Saturday, January 31 at 2:00pm, open to friends and family. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the charity of your choice or to Jacquie and Harry’s favourite: Covenant House.
Hollyburn Funeral Home 604-922-1221 www.hollyburnfunerals.com
No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Mr. Harry Ward Macdonald
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February 18, 2015
My condolences on hearing of the loss of your father, grandfather, and great grandfather. Not a sunny day passes, that my memory doesn't return to those summer days of my youth, the visits to the family home, picnics at Whytecliff Park, swimming at Larson Bay, the enduring friendship of our mothers, the kind generosity and patience of your father. It is a wonderful thing to see that his legacy is immense, varigated, and ongoing.
Fraser & Joan Evans
January 13, 2015
Fresh out of UBC and looking for a job in 1965, I was fortunate to be hired by the Canfor Pulp and Paper division where, for over 30 years, Harry was our boss. What a great person he was! His engaging smile always made you feel comfortable when meeting and talking with him. His acumen towards those of us at Canfor, as well as contacts in the Industry, portrayed an individual who was always willing to discuss, assist and resolve and not one who just judged. A devoted family man, often talking about Jacquie and his daughters he was a model to those of us who knew him.
January 12, 2015
To Nancy & family,
I only met Harry once, when I was a teen (long ago), but knew he was a true gentlemen- and it's stuck with me ever since. What a wonderful legacy for you all. Hope your grief passes swiftly Nancy.
January 11, 2015
Harry and Jacquie were such an integral part of the Murphy household. Their ongoing friendship will always be remembered and treasured. There are so many memories, a testament to a life well lived.
January 9, 2015
To Marion and extended family - what a treasure to life your father was.
We were saddened to hear of your loss but read so much joy that lived within his life for you all. Our very warmest sympathies. Kindly and glad also to have known your wonderful father, grandfather and great grandfather - Andr