Michael Ray McDonald died peacefully in his sleep Wednesday, July 31, 2019.
He was born on May 16, 1958, to Dennis and LaFern McDonald in Iola. His father was in the Navy, so Mike attended schools throughout the United States and Guam. His father retired in 1973, returning with his family to Iola while Mike was a sophomore in high school.
Mike attended Iola High School and signed up to join the Navy in October 1975, prior to his graduation in 1976. Once graduated from high school, he left to complete basic training. He served as a jet mechanic for nearly 10 years before a severe spinal injury led to an honorable discharge as a disabled veteran. Returning to Iola, he enrolled at Allen County Community College and earned an associates degree in general studies.
It was during this stage of his life that his beloved daughter Taylor was born. She was the joy of his life. He took great delight in helping her explore the wonders of our world. This joy would only grow greater when his granddaughter, Karma, was born.
Mike was definitely a people person and well-known jokester. He was quite knowledgeable and continued to enrich his mind with new concepts and ideas. He enjoyed playing ball before he was injured and watching the game after his injuries, especially the Royals. Among his many hobbies, he loved to read and also write, especially writing poetry. He adored music of all genres. He had a green thumb and enjoyed putting it to good use. Best of all he was a great storyteller and loved to share his stories and experiences. Those who knew him also knew he loved a spirited debate. He fully believed that everyone should try new things and be free to chase their dreams.
He is survived by his daughter, Taylor McDonald and partner Tyler, and granddaughter Karma; his mother, LaFern McDonald; sister, Deniece (Rodney) Edson; brothers, David (Penny) McDonald, Kelly McDonald; and nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his father, Dennis McDonald; sister, Carrie Dawn McDonald; and sister-in-law Debbie McDonald.
A memorial service will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 24, at Salem United Methodist Church, 805 Missouri Rd., Iola. A private family service will be held at a later date for placement of his ashes. Memorials may be made to help defray funeral costs.