Palm Beach High School

The "School on the Hill" in West Palm Beach, FL

Past PBHS Principal John J. McDonald Dies at 96

JOHN J. McDonald

John J. McDonald Cocoa Beach John Joseph McDonald, 96, died February 12, 2011. He was born in 1915 in Joliet, Illinois and lived in Lockport, IL. Attending the University of Illinois, he majored in Education and lettered in baseball. His first teaching and coaching po sition was at Coral Gables High, transferring in 1939 to Miami Senior High. In 1940 he married his high school sweetheart, Grace Dooley, and they moved to West Palm Beach. He be gan teaching and coaching at Palm Beach High School. They had two children, Jack and Jill. In 1943 he entered the Navy on active duty as a Naval Reserve officer. In 1946 he returned to West Palm Beach and was Dean of Men at Palm Beach Jun ior College, then Principal at Central Junior High, and then Supervising Principal of Central Schools and Principal of Palm Beach High. He finished his educational career as an Area Superintendent for Palm Beach County Schools. He served as President of Palm Beach County Principals Association, was a life member of Florida Education Association, Florida Retired Education Association, National Edu cation Association, and a member of the Retired Educators Association of Brevard County. He was an active participant in the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. He also served as President of Palm Beach County United Way and was President of the Downtown West Palm Beach Kiwanis Club, and was inducted into the Palm Beach County Sports Hall of Fame. Mac remained active in the Navy Reserves from 1947-1975 and retired as a Lieutenant Commander. He is a life member of the Military Officers Association of America and the Naval Reserve Association. John retired from education in 1980 and in 1983 moved to Cocoa Beach. He became an active member of Our Saviors Catholic Church. He and Grace spent half a year here and until 2003 half a year in North Carolina. He has been a full time resident since 2003. John is survived by his wife of 70 years, Grace McDonald; sisters, Marge Beavers and Rosemary Ayers; daughter, Jill (Bill) Rock; daughter-in-law, Cynthia McDonald; and grandchildren, Scott (Heather) McDonald, Erin (Steve) Black and John J. McDonald III; and great- grandchildren. He was predeceased by his son, John J. McDonald, Jr. He was noted for his sense of humor and laughter, his high degree of responsibility, and his love of family and friends. He will be missed. A Mass of Christian Buri al will be celebrated at Our Saviors Catholic Church. Condolences may be sent for the family to Grace McDonald at 200 South Banana River Blvd., #2406, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931.

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