Thomas (Tom) H. McDonald, age 83, of Long Beach, Indiana, passed away peacefully at his home on Friday, May 28, 2021 at 3:37 a.m.
He was born on July 3, 1937, in Steubenville, Ohio, as the first child to the late Raymond McDonald and Pauline Baumgardt McDonald. Tom was a 1955 graduate and class president of Catholic Central High School of Steubenville and a 1961 honors graduate of The Franciscan University of Steubenville. He served his country as a member of the U.S. Marine Corp from 1956 to 1958 and remained in the Reserves until 1961.
On Aug. 22, 1959, at St. Paul's Church in Weirton, West Virginia, he married his best friend, Joanne Sholtis McDonald, who survives him.
Also surviving are his children: son, Patrick (Robin), Chicago, daughter, Kathleen Ritchie (Scott), Mt. Prospect, Illinois, son Michael (wife Helena), Michigan City, and daughter, Erin McIntyre (husband Sean), Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. His surviving 12 grandchildren are Katie (fiance Matt Hentz), Meghan and Michael Ritchie (Kathy and Scott); Sam, Max and Will McDonald (Stephen and Katie Pengilly); Sierra (Chris) Brown, MacKenzy and Maggie McDonald (Michael and Helena); and Teghan, Abby and Emerson McIntyre (Erin and Sean). Tom's surviving siblings are: his sister Judith McDonald DiLoreta, brother Raymond (Jayne) McDonald, sister Marilyn McDonald (Terry) Worthington, cousin/"brother" J. David Mulrooney, and brother-in-law, Dr. Larry Yodlowski.
His son Stephen preceded him in death in 2018.
Tom loved to work, and after working his way through college as a chauffeur and mailman, he began his formal career at Wheeling Steel in 1961. In 1964, he was hired by Bethlehem Steel as a management trainee at the new Burns Harbor plant in Burns Harbor, Indiana, rising to superintendent over the years. In 1986, he was promoted to the main office in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, as the Director of Outside Services.
Tom retired from Bethlehem Steel in 1997, after accepting a position at Roll and Hold, and then a 10-year role as Vice President-Operations at Arlington Metals. After a long and successful career doing work that he loved, Tom, "The Man of Steel," finally retired in 2010.
Tom had a passion for genealogy and traced his roots back to 1858, when the first Thomas McDonald came to America from County Mayo, Ireland. The McDonald Clan has since grown to live in all quadrants of the United States.
As a lifelong Catholic, Tom was also an active member of all of the parishes that he and his family belonged to including Notre Dame Church, Michigan City (1996-present); Notre Dame Church (1985-1995), Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; and Queen of All Saints (1964-1984), Michigan City. He served in numerous volunteer positions including Lector, Eucharistic Minister, Notre Dame's Campus Revitalization Committee Chair, Notre Dame's Finance Committee member, Notre Dame's Pre-Cana counselor, Queen's Parish Council president, Queen's Parish Festival Chair and Queen's PTA president.
Tom also loved the Michigan City/Long Beach community, and during his 40 years here, he generously volunteered his time and talent to better it. He served on the Michigan City Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, was the United Way Co-Chairman, the Director of the Marquette High School Foundation, served as a La Porte County Youth judicial advocate through CAYA, and for numerous years, he was chairman of the Lake Clare Homeowners Masters Association Board of Directors.
At 82 years, Tom recently ran for Long Beach Town Councilman. While he lost the race, he proved to all of us that age is just a number, and we need to remain passionate in our beliefs.
Above all, Tom loved his large family, and always made them his top priority. He and Joanne traveled to all continents in the world, but he most enjoyed traveling coast to coast in the U.S. to support the activities of his 12 grandchildren. He considered his 62-year marriage to his soulmate, Joanne, as the greatest achievement of his life.
The McDonald family would like to thank all those who lovingly supported Tom/Dad during his illness, including The Long Beach Fire Department, Franciscan Home Healthcare, Firstlight Homecare, and Dunes Hospice.
A mass of Christian burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, June 3, 2021, at Notre Dame Catholic Church, 1005 Moore Rd., Michigan City, with Rev. Keith J. McClellan officiating. Visitation will be 4-7 p.m. Wednesday at Root Funeral Home, 312 E. 7th St., Michigan City, and on Thursday, 10-11 a.m. at Notre Dame Catholic Church prior to mass. A private internment at a later date will take place at Mt. Calvary Cemetery, Steubenville, Ohio.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to either Notre Dame Church–Campus Revitalization Committee, 1005 Moore Road, Michigan City, IN 46360 or the Marquette High School Foundation, 306 W. 10th Street, Michigan City, IN 46360
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