James "Jim" McDonald

Born in Franklin County, IA
Born on Dec 1, 1937
Departed on May 27, 2020

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James Jay (Jim) McDonald, 82, of Marion, Iowa, passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday May 27, 2020, after short illness with cancer. Cedar Memorial will be assisting the family with an immediate family service. A public Celebration of Life service will be held at a later date.

Jim was born in Franklin County, Iowa, on December 1, 1937, to the parents of Leslie and Mildred (Brereton) McDonald. He graduated from Marshalltown High School, Marshalltown Community College, and the University of Northern Iowa. He proudly served three years in the United States Army. He met his wife, Laura “Lea” Hamilton in March of 1962. They were married August 20, 1966, after his college graduation.

Jim was the assistant business manager at Coe College, was employed by Loomis Brothers Construction, then by First Ave Construction and Development, and then became his own boss owning McDonald Construction Company for 35 years. He and Lea have lived 41 years in the house that Jim built in Marion. 

He assisted with Cub Scout Pack 58 and served as Scout Master for Boy Scout Troop 35 of Marion. He was past president of the Marion Kiwanis Club and a member of the Marion Board of Appeals for Construction. His love for woodworking is evident in the many beautiful creations he leaves behind. 

Jim is survived by his wife of almost 54 years, Lea; sons Mark (Pam) of Denver, Colorado, and Scott of Bettendorf, Iowa; grandsons, Joshua and Aidan; sister Sharon Conrad; niece Darlynne; nephew Ross; brother-in-law Mike Hamilton (Rhonda); aunt, numerous cousins, and his faithful canine companion Sadie. He was preceded in death by his parents; an infant brother, in-laws Lonnie and Cleo Hamilton; and brother-in-law Daryl Conrad. 

The family wishes to thank Dr. Matthew Fox and the Mercy Hospice Care team for their kindness and compassion during Jim’s illness.

Memorials may be directed to Habitat for Humanity; 350 6th Avenue SE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401.