Dr. Malcolm (Mac) R. MacDonald died in Kincardine, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018, in the loving arms of his family. Beloved husband of Annette (predeceased). Devoted father of Jeffrey and his wife, Marcela. Brother of Mildred, Isabel, Esther, Gordon, Ken, and Elma Mae. Growing up on his family’s farm outside of Kincardine, Malcolm was the descendant of some of Bruce County’s first settlers, walking to the same one-room schoolhouse as his father before him. After attending Lucknow District High School, he graduated as the Kitchener-Waterloo School of Nursing’s first male Registered Nurse in 1964. After teaching and working at K-W hospital, Malcolm enrolled at the University of Windsor, where he earned a Diploma in Nursing Services Administration and later a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, all while working night shifts in the Emergency Room of Hôtel Dieu in Windsor. Following graduation, he returned to the K-W School of Nursing as a professor of health sciences/clinical supervisor until 1969 when he set off to see the world. His first stop was Palm Springs, California, where he began work at Desert Hospital the day after he landed. He held positions ranging from staff nurse to night supervisor. In his spare time, he joined a widely-performing vocal group and quickly became part of the Palm Springs show-biz scene, riding a dirt bike, driving a blue Mustang convertible, and having his social circle include evenings with Truman Capote, Goldie Hawn, Lily Tomlin, and the Laugh-In cast. Taking a brief respite from the desert, Malcolm returned to Canada as a professor at the Owen Sound Regional School of Nursing (now Georgian College), and provided student clinical supervision at the Walkerton, Kincardine and Owen Sound hospitals. Returning to Palm Springs in 1970 as the co-ordinator of in-service education at Desert Hospital, he was integral to the opening of the adjacent Sinatra Medical Education Centre (funded by Frank Sinatra and his family). Concurrently, the landmark Eisenhower Medical Centre was being constructed a few miles away, and soon Malcolm was recruited as the associate director of nursing, the third staff member hired to help open the brand new "Hospital of The Stars." Although he was again surrounded by celebrity culture (Hoagy Carmichael, the Gabor sisters, the Sinatra family, Red Skelton, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Bob and Delores Hope being among his patients or neighbours), by far his biggest influence came from the director of nursing at Eisenhower who had hired him, Annette LaBerge, whom he married after only a three-month courtship and who became the love of his life. Their journey continued to Arizona, where he earned his Master of Science in Nursing degree, then back to California where he accepted a position as the director of nursing programs at Bakersfield College, developing one of the first curriculums in the country for a nursing specialty in Home Care/Community Nursing (an Associate of Science Degree in Family Health Nursing). Malcolm and Annette also co-taught a class on human sexuality at the college, which was so in-demand that it was standing room only. The class must have worked well, as Annette soon gave birth to their son, Jeffrey! In addition to having a new baby and a full teaching/administration schedule, Malcolm earned his Ph.D. in Education at Nova University and accepted positions as chairman of health sciences programs at Cuesta College (responsible for all nursing, paramedic and medical assistant programs) and professor of undergraduate and graduate nursing programs at California State University Long Beach and Cal Poly. While there, he co-created an entirely new approach to nursing education entitled, “The Caring Curriculum,” which focused on more effective ways to meet not only patients’ physical needs, but equally their emotional needs. That curriculum quickly spread throughout the educational system, and the core concepts became the foundation of today’s nursing undergraduate and graduate educational programs throughout North America. After much hard work and many fulfilled dreams in California, their roots in Kincardine called strongly and Malcolm, Annette and Jeffrey returned home to Canada. Malcolm accepted a position as the vice-president of patient care at the brand new 400-bed Grey Bruce Regional Health Centre (now GBHS - Owen Sound). During his 10-year tenure, his dedication was felt throughout the community as he sourced the funding and implemented all new dialysis, orthopedic and urology units for the hospital, expanded cancer care services and made fundamental core facility and patient care improvements to the long-term care unit. Malcolm volunteered on numerous community boards, including founding Home and Community Support Services of Grey Bruce as its first chairman. He was also the chairman of the Georgian College Nursing Programs’ Advisory Committee, professor of nursing at Georgian College, faculty advisor at the University of Western Ontario, was keynote speaker worldwide as a leader with the International Association of Human Caring, and was published numerous times in every leading industry journal, including being named continually in publications of Who’s Who in Medicine and Health Care. As busy as his professional commitments were, likely what his colleagues at GBHS would remember most would be his weekly rounds where he would connect with as many staff members and patients as possible, continually aiming to improve everyone’s experience through his deeply caring leadership. Many of his students, colleagues and employees remained in touch throughout his lifetime, often expressing their gratitude for serving as their model of excellence, respect, compassion and integrity. For all of his professional successes and leadership, what always mattered unquestionably most to Malcolm and Annette, his wife and partner of 42 years, were family, friends, church and the community. In his work life, Malcolm always made it known that if his wife or son were to call - regardless of whatever he was doing - he wanted to be interrupted so that he could take the call. For visitors to the MacDonald home, the door or garden gate was always open, often greeted by Malcolm’s, “Hello, Hello, Hello!” and, “Come in for a cup of tea?” or if it was after five o’clock, “a glass of wine?” And Malcolm’s artistic talents could be seen and heard widely throughout the community: his poetry and writing have been published internationally; his gardens were featured on numerous tours and television shows; he was a very active painter with the Victoria Park Gallery; he was an endlessly-knowledgeable tour guide with Heritage Kincardine; he absolutely loved “rattling the rafters” for his Knox Presbyterian Church family as he often played the pipe organ and sang in the choir during Sunday services. (Recently he recorded more than five hours of piano and organ music, all performed by ear.) Malcolm lived a joyful, dedicated, service-filled, compassionate, loving and Christian life of integrity and would happily say, “All is well with my soul!”
The family extends deepest appreciation for the incredible skills and kindness of the doctors, nurses and staff of the South Bruce Grey Health Centre - Kincardine, Grey Bruce Health Services - Owen Sound, London Health Sciences Centre, Care Partners, Home and Community Support Services of Grey-Bruce and the South West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), with especially dear thanks to Dr. Jason Murray and his team, the Knox Presbyterian Church family and their treasured friends and family. There will be a celebration to honour Malcolm's joyous life and impact on family, friends and the community, Oct. 14, 2018, at 10 a.m. at Knox Presbyterian Church, 345 Durham Street, Kincardine. It will begin with recordings of Malcolm’s pipe organ performances leading to the service at 10:30 a.m. and will be followed by refreshments. All are welcome. Malcolm’s family would be grateful for any donations made on his behalf to charities benefiting children or homelessness, as well as to the Victoria Park Gallery or Kincardine Knox Presbyterian Church's Ministry of Music.