1943 – 2023
Ian died peacefully at home on August 25 2023, at the age of 80, after a long illness faced with courage and dignity.
Beloved husband of Nola, dear brother of Marion (Aubrey+), Jim (Beverley) and Barbara (Len). He will be dearly missed by the nephews and nieces he loved and mentored: James (Dunsi), Jennifer (Dan), Lisa (Tyler), Rob (Michelle), Philip (Barbara), Lori (Paul), Kim (Gregor), Jacqueline (Cesar), Andrea (Justin), Jesse, Maggie (Tom), Rosemary, Angela (Regan), Shawn, and Mathew.
Ian was born in Edmonton, Alberta, the son of Cody and Ruth McDonald. He graduated from the University of Alberta with a BA in Classical Studies followed by a PhD from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. During his studies there he was inspired by fine scholars and made life long friends,
Ian joined the Classical Studies Department of the University of Toronto at Scarborough in 1968. As an associate professor, he loved teaching and the collegial interdisciplinary focus. Always on hand to promote the classics, he took a toga folding show on the road to high school Latin classes, took part in campus fairs, and promoted new curricula such as Word Roots for Scientists. Ian was also an active member of the university administration, serving as associate dean and director of governance at U of T Scarborough for seven years ending in 2004, and nine years of distinguished service on the university's Governing Council ending in 2006. Before his planned retirement in 2008, he served as interim university ombudsperson for two years.
Ian and Nola met on The Canadian, travelling west, an experience which affirmed their mutual enthusiasm for train travel and chance bookings. They married in 1977 and never fully recovered from the joy of their extended honeymoon in Italy and Greece. That prompted many travels to Europe, most frequently Italy where the favourite destination was Rome.
Ian and Nola moved to Port Hope in 1980 where Ian undertook a wide range of community service. He was wise and generous with his talents and combined good sense with good humour. Ian had a keen interest in heritage. He joined the Board of the local branch of The Architectural Conservancy of Ontario which, at that time, undertook the successful conservation of the limestone train station in Port Hope. His passion for classical music served his church, St. Mark's Anglican, where he was the assistant organist and oversaw the installation of a Gabriel Kney organ, in addition to many other leadership roles. As program chair and president of the Friends of Music, he worked tirelessly to bring an international level of classical music to audiences in Northumberland County. Most recently he drew upon his experience as an educator to enhance the fine programming of the Northumberland Learning Connection.
Ian and Nola enjoyed a delightful social life in Port Hope. A generous host, he also provided piano accompaniment to the band of choristers who attended the McDonald annual Christmas parties. Ian was consistently amused, stimulated, and rewarded by his life in Port Hope.
We would like to extend our thanks to Dr. Francesco Mulé and, in particular, to Beverley Collins whose loving care supported Ian so very well at home.
A funeral will be held at St. Mark's Anglican Church, 51 King Street Port Hope on September 16th at 2pm.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St Mark's Anglican Church, The Northumberland Learning Connection or a charity of your choice.