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Nathaniel's Story

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DANVERS - Nathaniel Austin Macdonald, 95, born in Salem and raised in Danvers, where he lived for most of his life, died peacefully on Wednesday, December 20, 2017 at the Kaplan House in Danvers. He was surrounded by his family during his last few days. He was the beloved husband of Eunice (King) Macdonald with whom he shared 67 years of marriage and who predeceased him in May of 2017.
Nathaniel graduated from Danvers High School and Governor Dummer Academy. He was accepted at Colgate University after high school, where he spent three years before enlisting and serving in the Army Air Force during World War II for three years. He then went on to graduate from Colgate in 1944 and completed his formal education at Tufts Medical School in 1950.
With his medical degree in hand, he completed an internship at Beverly Hospital and then returned to the armed forces to serve two years as a Captain in the United States Air Force Medical Corps. Rising in the ranks quickly, he acted as Chief of Outpatient Services at Westover Air Force Base and later Medical Director of the Armed Forces Examining Station, Boston Army Base. After leaving the service, Nathaniel completed his training as an intern and resident in Internal Medicine at Beverly Hospital followed by a one-year fellowship in Internal Medicine at the Lahey Clinic in Boston. He had a private practice in Internal Medicine in Danvers for 35 years and was Chief of Staff at Hunt Memorial Hospital from 1959 to 1972.
Outside of the hospital, Nathaniel was a compassionate and caring community leader, as a member of the Board of Directors of the Heart Association, on the Danvers School Committee, and as a volunteer team physician for the Danvers High School football team. He was also a founder/charter member of the Danvers Touchdown Club.
Nathaniel had a love for music and played in the high school band and the marching band at Colgate. He enjoyed the big band era and impressed the crowd at his 80th birthday celebration when he joined the band as a surprise guest drummer.
Nathaniel considered his family his greatest accomplishment and loved entertaining them for holiday gatherings and for an entire month in the summer with his family on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. He had a warm, engaging personality and loved all sports, especially the Boston Red Sox. Nathaniel was an accomplished golfer, gardener, and cook, and enjoyed many years as a member of the Kingswood Golf Club in Wolfeboro and the Delray Dunes in Delray, Florida.
He is survived by his four children and their spouses, his adoring grandchildren and great grandchildren. Deborah (Harry) Ritchie, Douglas (Cheryl), and their children Katie (Greg) Salois, Scott (Kelly), Rebecca (Ryan) Murphy, James (Ashley) and Kellie. Barbara (Barry) Crommett and their children Peter (Elizabeth), Matthew (Sophie), and Marisa (Luke) Stevens. Natalie (William) Whelan and their children, Amanda (Benjamin) Farrer, Kevin and Jack. He also leaves behind seven great-grandchildren, Austin, Grady, Shea, Nathaniel, Marshall, William, and Madeleine, his sister-in-law Jane King, as well as nieces and nephews. He was also predeceased by a granddaughter, Courtney.
The family would like to thank the kind caregivers at Brightview and the incredible hospice nurses at Care Dimensions and Kaplan House.
ARRANGEMENTS: Relatives and friends are invited to visiting hours which will be held in the Peterson-O'Donnell Funeral Home, 167 Maple St., (rte. 62) Danvers, on Thursday, January 4th from 4 to 7 p.m.. All other services are private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Nathaniel's memory to Care Dimensions c/o Kaplan House, 75 Sylvan St., Danvers, MA 01923 or the American Heart Association, PO Box 417005, Boston, MA 02241-7005. To share a memory or offer a condolence, please visit www.odonnellfuneralservice.com.
Published on January 1, 2018
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