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John Thomas MacDonald

John Thomas MacDonald, beloved husband, father and grandfather, moved on to greener pastures Monday afternoon, April 29, 2019, peacefully at home with family after a long illness. He was 79-years-old.

Born in Gloucester, Mass. on Aug. 18, 1939, John developed a love of agriculture and civic engagement at an early age that would follow him throughout his life. After graduating from Essex County Agricultural School in 1957, he went on to earn an associates degree in dairy technology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1961. During this time, he also served in the Army Reserves and as a Boy Scout assistant troop leader.

John worked as plant manager at White Farms Dairy in Ipswich, Mass. for 12 years before finally pursuing his dream of owning his own dairy farm. In 1974, John and his family moved to Avon, Maine where they owned and operated a dairy farm located along the beautiful Sandy River nestled within the Longfellow Mountains. While working the farm, John was also an active board member on the National Farmers Organization, Advisory Board for the Franklin County Extension Service and served many years as a Town of Avon Officer in such positions as selectman, assessor, overseer of the poor, deputy fire warden, director of Civil Emergency Preparedness, animal control officer and town snow plow operator. Kind and humble, with a ready smile and gentle laugh, John was a person who could be relied on. 

In retirement, John moved to Brasstown in 1999, where he continued to work the land cultivating bountiful vegetable gardens and pursuing his interest in woodworking. Not one to let grass grow under his feet, John immediately joined the Brasstown Volunteer Firefighters and in 2017, received an award in appreciation of his many years of service as firefighter, assistant chief and president of the board of directors.

John is survived by his devoted and loving wife of 58 years, Louise Landford MacDonald, of Brasstown; three adoring children, Dana Hanford and husband, Reid, of Ivoryton, Conn.; Karen Brady and husband, Ty, of Webster, Mass.; and Thomas MacDonald and wife, Amy, of Naperville, Ill. He had five cherished grandchildren: Lydia Tonkonow, Alexa Brady, Heather, Ian and Ashley MacDonald. He is predeceased by his mother, Lydia Boyd Sweeney; stepfather, Walter Sweeney and brother, James Henry MacDonald.

Join John's family from 4-6 p.m. Friday, May 10 at the Brasstown Community Civic Center, 255 Settawig Road, Brasstown for a visitation gathering. In lieu of flowers, consider a donation to the Brasstown Fire Department, P.O. Box 55, Brasstown, N.C. 28902 for their building fund. 

Cochran Funeral Home of Murphy is honored to be serving the family

Clay County Progress

Mailing Address: PO Box 483, Hayesville, NC 28904
Physical Address: 43 Main Street, Hayesville, NC 28904
Phone: 828-389-8431
Fax: 828-389-9997