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John McDonald

John Wesley McDonald

Monday, April 4th, 1983 - Friday, December 11th, 2020
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Obituary

John Wesley McDonald, 37, of Pensacola, FL, passed away on December 11, 2020 with his mother and sister by his side.

John attended Pearl Nelson Preschool and later graduated from Westgate. He worked for a time at Pollack Industries and volunteered at Sacred Heart Hospital. But his real calling was to live as a heart worker, connecting cheerfully with others and beaming his big smile to everyone he met. His joy was irresistible, his love was supremely gentle, authentic, and pure, and he gave ‘the best hugs.’

A man of many nicknames – brother, partner, ‘dude’ – John lived above all, as a lover of life: of people and parties, Uno championships, bowling, root beer, and golf. He delighted in Walker Texas Ranger and all rugged men who seek justice. For over two decades he was a Special Olympics athlete in track and field, softball, and golf and a beloved teammate on Special League Bowling. He was also a member of the Special Steppers square dancers for a time.

When doing his WWE "wrestling work," John was both passionate and meticulous, affectionately spelling each wrestler's name with respectful precision and care. And he applied the same calm attention to detail as a talented painter of ceramics, sometimes working by commission, and often giving his pieces to friends and family as colorful gifts (still carrying his spirit for those who treasure them).

With grand enthusiasm he would clap and cheer for his favorite football teams (his devotion to the Dallas Cowboys motivated as much by his love of cowboys). And never was he happier than when singing John Denver tunes on road trips with his sister, or when they sang and acted their way through every song of the Sound of Music, with or without the movie, but always by heart.

His legacy is love – of games, food, music, sports, and especially love for we who joined him, ever grateful to follow his playful lead. John changed us, made us better humans. This legacy of love is indelibly written on the hearts of all who knew him.

In spirit and love he lives.

In body he is survived by his mother, Lillian McDonald, brother and sister-in-law, Jim McDonald and Shelly, sister and brother-in-law, Leisl Bryant and Bart, and his beloved furry companions: his “son” Sam, Daphne, Bodhi, and Bella, and by extended family and many cherished friends across Pensacola, New Hampshire, and Canada.

A Celebration of Life is planned for Spring 2021.

To send condolences and tributes please visit: www.watersandhibbert.com. The family requests donations in lieu of flowers be made to: Ceramics by Leah to fund art by special needs persons (go to paypal.com; choose ‘send’ a payment; enter this address: stubleduck@aol.com; and choose ‘send to someone you trust’; any questions, please call 850-476-1977. All donations go to a fund in John’s honor).

WATERS & HIBBERT FUNERAL HOME LLC is in charge of arrangements.
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JS

Jerry Smith

Posted at 09:10am
The first time I met met John I felt warmth and love from him. I had the pleasure to be around him from time to time and he was always an encouragement to me. John will be dearly missed but his loving spirit will carry on in his wonderful family. I pray that we all find comfort in knowing that his precious soul is with Jesus for eternity.
I have great admiration for John's tight knit family and share in their loss. May God bless each and every one of you.

Jerry Smith and Family
BS

Barbara Simmons

Posted at 08:12pm
For the past 15 years John has come to Ceramics by Leah every Wed. and Thur morning to paint. We always looked forward to that big smile and greeting of "Hello Sweetheart" as he came bouncing through the door . John loved with his entire being, his enthusiasm was infectious. Everyone always stopped to appreciate his talent and share in his upbeat approach to the details of his painting. Mom and I will miss our hugs and winks . We love you and will think of you every Wed. and Thur morning. Rest in peace "Dude Man"
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