Frederick James McDonald, age 78, of New Lisbon, Wisconsin, passed away peacefully Friday, December 27, 2013.
Fred was born March 21, 1935, in Mauston to Hugh & Augusta (Spors) McDonald and graduated from Mauston High School in 1952. Fred was united in marriage to Alice Marie Mueller on June 2, 1962, at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in New Lisbon. They started their life together in a cabin he built on Castle Rock Lake. In 1976 they moved their family to Truman Street in New Lisbon where he still resided.
Fred owned his own milk truck and hauled milk for several years. Fred was later employed by the Mauston Farmers Coop where he delivered fuel oil for many years. Many Juneau County residents remember Fred from his delivery days. He retired in 1998.
Fred and Alice welcomed seven daughters into their home over the course of their married life. They were blessed to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in June of 2012 with many family members and old friends. He was a devoted husband to Alice through sickness and health all the days of her life. He was lost without her, and four months later they are together again for eternity.
Best known for his somber, yet mischievous personality, Fred drew many friends to him. His coffee time with his buddies these last years were filled with many stories as well as the development of good friendships. He loved collecting and refurbishing antique gas engines and tractors. He was a member of the Badger Steam and Gas Engine Club. The family has many happy memories of summers spent attending “steam shows” throughout Wisconsin.
Fred was not one to sit idle and stayed very active throughout his life. He was an amazing gardener and enjoyed woodworking. He established his workshop in the family garage. He made countless items for their home and for his children including hope chests, clocks and baby cradles. These keepsakes are proudly displayed in their homes. Fred was a faithful and active member of St. Paul’s Parish in New Lisbon. He was an usher and caretaker for the parish for many years. He was also a proud member of the New Lisbon Lions Club.
Over the years, many comments were made about “poor Fred in that house full of girls”. He loved it, and the sons-in-law that he acquired when those girls married were the bonus and a source of great pride. He was proud of each one of them and appreciated what they added to the McDonald family, and he knew his daughters were in good hands.
The role of grandpa suited Fred well. An even split, 11 grandsons and 11 granddaughters, were his pride and joy.
He is survived by his seven daughters and their spouses: Kristie (Todd) Bunker, New Lisbon; Cheryl (Randy) Weiland, New Lisbon; Connie (Gene) Gibson, Colfax; Nancy (Gary) Cowan, New Lisbon; Colleen (Greg) Grovesteen, Tomah; Collette (Dan) Schultz, New Lisbon; and Jennifer (James) Redelsheimer of Plymouth, MN; his 22 grandchildren: Garrett Bunker, Kinsey Smith, Elliott Bunker, Jacob Smith, Reed Gibson, Chance Smith, Emma Bunker, Lydia Weiland, Kaylee Grovesteen, Grady Gibson, Margo Weiland, Logan Grovesteen, Sidney Schultz, Drew Gibson, Simon Schultz, Carson Grovesteen, Mallory Cowan, Carly Redelsheimer, Grant Redelsheimer, Sophie Weiland, Abigail Redelsheimer and Garrison Cowan, along with three sisters: Nancy Morris, Carol McDonald and Gail Sorum, and many, many nieces, nephews, cousins, and in-laws.
Services were held December 29 at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in New Lisbon.