John McDonald Obituary

John C. McDonald
John C. McDonald
John C. McDonald

February 19, 1924 - December 2, 2005
Born in Lorimor, IA
Resided in Dallas Center, IA
  • Contat Us
  • Guestbook
  • Photos
  • Services
  • Send Flowers


John C. McDonald, 81, of Dallas Center, Iowa, a respected lawyer, political and civic leader, died of cancer on December 2, 2005, at Spurgeon Manor in Dallas Center. Services in celebration of his life will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 6, at the First Presbyterian Church, 1204 13th Street, in Dallas Center. The family will receive visitors at the church from 7 to 9 p.m. on Monday evening, and after the service. There will be no public viewing. John's ashes will be interred in a private service at the Masonic Cemetery, Dallas Center, Iowa.

John Cecil McDonald, seventh child of Dr. C. F. and Elsie McDonald, was born in Lorimor, Iowa, on February 19, 1924. He graduated from Lorimor High School, attended Simpson College, Southern Illinois University, and received his law degree from Drake University. During WW II he served as a USAF pilot in the Pacific Theater; in 1984 he retired from the U.S. Air Force Reserve.

Mr. McDonald served as Dallas County Attorney, attorney for the City of Dallas Center, and attorney for the Dallas Center and Dallas Center-Grimes School Districts. He served on many local, state and national boards, including those of Iowa Public Television, Iowa Student Loan Liquidity Corporation, Iowa College Aid Commission, Dallas County Hospital Board of Trustees, and Spurgeon Manor. He was a member of the Simpson College Alumni Council and an honorary life member of the Simpson College Board of Trustees. He received the Simpson College Alumni Achievement Award in 1974, and the Drake University Distinguished Alumni Award in 1978. Mr. McDonald received Presidential appointments to the Board of Visitors of the United States Air Force Academy (Chairman, 1977-78), and the American Battle Monuments Commission (l982-94). Governors Ray and Branstad appointed him to the Iowa Board of Regents (1981-87; President l985-87). He considered the years he served on the Board of Regents to have been among his highest honors in service to education.

Many will remember John for his leadership in the Republican Party, and active role in the campaigns of Governor Robert D. Ray and President George H. W. Bush. He served as Dallas County Chairman, District Chairman, State Chairman (1969-75), and as the National Committeeman from Iowa. He was a delegate to six national conventions (1964-88). At four of the conventions, he served as one of the four convention officers, chairing the Committee on Contests four times, and the Committee on Credentials three times.

Mr. McDonald and his wife, Barbara, were married in Carbondale, Illinois on May 8, 1943. After he completed his law degree in 1948, they settled in Dallas Center. At his retirement, he was the senior partner of the present McDonald, Brown and Fagen Law Firm. Mr. McDonald was an active member of the Presbyterian Church for more than fifty years, serving as an ordained elder and in other capacities including the church choir. John was a member of many organizations, including Rotary, the Masonic Lodge and Za-Ga-Zig Shrine, the American Legion, and Coffee Club.

John will be missed by his wife, Barbara, his daughters and their husbands, Mary and Dell Richard of Iowa City, Joan and Andrew Ackerman of Renton, Washington, and Jean McDonald and Jeff Brich of Cedar Falls, six grandchildren. John and Michael Richard, Matthew (and wife Emily) and Maurine Ackerman, Joel and Meredith Brich, two sisters, Colene Torrance of San Marcos, CA and Catherine VanDercreek (and husband William) of Tallahassee, FL, sister-in-law Marie McDonald of Rogers, AR, and one brother, Donald (and wife Anita) of Fresno, CA, nine nephews and nieces. He was predeceased by his parents, two sisters, Maurine Moore of San Marcos, CA, and Mary Olive Kelley of Memphis, TN, and two brothers, Carrol of Des Moines, and Quentin of Rogers, AR.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any memorials be made to the First Presbyterian Church, or to a charity of the contributor's choice. The Brandt Funeral Home is caring for the arrangements. Online condolences may be sent to the family through its web site at:





First Presbyterian Church
1204-13th Street
Dallas Center, IA US 50063
Monday, December 5, 2005
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
First Presbyterian Church
1204-13th Street
Dallas Center, IA US 50063
Tuesday, December 6, 2005
1:30 PM