Former Haverhill Deputy Fire Chief Ronald MacDonald, 78, passed away peacefully at his home June 4, surrounded by the love of his family.
Born in Tewksbury, Sept. 27, 1938, he was the son of the late Edmund and Caroline Berry of the Bradford section of Haverhill. He graduated from Haverhill High School, class of 1958, where he played fullback and was elected co-captain of the school’s football team. Following graduation he joined the U.S. Marine Corps. He served four years before being honorably discharged in 1962 with the rank of lance corporal. MacDonald then captained a fishing boat off the coast of North Carolina for a year before returning to Haverhill, where he worked at Borden Chemical and was elected union president.
In 1967 he found his calling when he joined the Haverhill Fire Department, retiring 36 years later, in 2003, with the rank of deputy chief. He was very proud of the men he worked with – his brothers.
After retirement, he became a member of the National Ski Patrol and enjoyed working at Bradford Ski Area for more than 10 years. In addition to skiing, he enjoyed the outdoors as a golfer and as a hunter. He was a member of the Haverhill Hound Rod & Gun Club. As a “gentleman farmer” he took great pride in his vegetable garden and was often seen riding his tractors through his fields. He was a member of First Church of Christ in Bradford.
Besides his wife of 28 years, Susan (Hollis) MacDonald, MacDonald is survived by their son, John MacDonald of Haverhill; his children, Kathleen Devejian of East Hampstead, N.H., Shari Atwood and Duncan MacDonald, both of Maine; granddaughter, Emily Devejian and sister-in-law, Jill Hollis and her partner, Allen Glenn of Haverhill. He was predeceased by his sister-in-law, Linda (Hollis) Killius.
The funeral is taking place Thursday, June 8, 1 p.m., at Dole, Childs and Shaw Funeral Home, 148 Main St., Haverhill, followed by burial, with full military and firefighter honors, at Elmwood Cemetery. Donations in Ronald’s memory may be made to Haverhill Fireman’s Relief Association, 75 Kenoza Ave., Haverhill, MA.