Art MacDonald

Obituary of Art MacDonald

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MACDONALD, James Arthur Pictou, NS J. Arthur MacDonald, 90, died peacefully on October 1, 2022, in the Palliative Care Unit of the Aberdeen Hospital. Art was born on September 16, 1932, in Westville, son of Henry and Ethel (Haslam) MacDonald. Before going to Teacher’s College, Art worked at the Bank of Nova Scotia. He taught in Sherbrooke and Pictou before completing his Bachelor of Arts at Saint Francis Xavier University, earning his beloved X ring. Continuing his lifelong passion for learning, Art went on to receive his Master’s degree from Mount St. Vincent University. While teaching at Patterson School, he met his wife, Gwennie (Smith) and married in 1959. After 32 years of service as teacher and principal, Art retired in 1988. Never one to be idle, he began volunteering at the Sears Outlet in downtown Pictou, enjoying the daily conversations with the customers. Art lived a life of service, giving back continuously to his community of Pictou serving on various boards such as the Sutherland Harris Memorial Hospital Foundation, the Pictou Academy Educational Foundation, and the VON. He also served on the National Capital Commission in Ottawa. As a member of the Pictou Rotary Club, and Paul Harris Fellow, he was honoured in 2018 for 50 years of service and dedication to Rotary’s vision of making a difference. He lived out his love of music and musicals through his role as producer and director of numerous Rotary productions. Though always proud of each show, a life highlight was when his daughters surprised him on his 80th birthday with a trip to New York City to see two Broadway shows. Art’s passion for politics was well known at all levels. He served as a town councilor for Pictou and worked tirelessly in many roles for both Provincial and Federal Elections as a member of the Progressive Conservative Party. Art was a man of deep faith who lived out his love of God through the life and ministry of Pictou United Church. He was a life-long Elder, choir member, and member and chairperson of numerous committees. He was proud of his Church and embodied his faith through his words and deeds. He loved his grandchildren dearly and was affectionately known as Grampie by all. So, though our hearts are heavy, we celebrate and honour a life fully lived. Art is survived by his wife of 63 years, Gwennie; daughters, Terri Caggiula and Val Dickinson (Ryan); grandsons, Brody (Lindsay), Drake (Laura) Caggiula and Hayden, Greer, Beck, and Seth Dickinson; great-grandchildren, Everly, Bennett, Landon, Cash and Cooper; sisters, Ila MacKenzie (George), Ella Anderson, Diane MacDonald, Karen Peterson, Faye Ferguson (Bob) and Fern White; sister-in-law, Wanda Smith and numerous nephews and nieces. In addition to his parents, Art was predeceased by his sister, Betty Dignan and brother, Bob Haslam. The family wish to give thanks and appreciation to his exceptional caregivers who he considered his honorary daughters, Linda, Isabel, Wendy, Cathy, Cindy, and Michelle. A very special thank you to Jackie MacCallum in the Palliative Care Unit. Visitation will be at McLaren Funeral Home, Pictou on Tuesday, October 11 from 2-4pm and 6-8pm. Funeral service will be held at Pictou United Church on Wednesday, October 12 at 1:30pm with Rev. Mary-Beth Moriarity officiating. Donations in memory of J. Arthur may be made to Pictou United Church or the Rotary Foundation through the Rotary Club of Pictou.