Robert Eugene McDonald

Robert Eugene McDonald

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Robert “Mac” McDonald, 73, formerly of Cadott died Friday, June 19, 2020, at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Lewiston, Idaho.

Born March 18, 1947, in Chippewa Falls, to Bernice (Yeager) and Eugene McDonald, Mac always looked forward to summer vacations at his family’s Park Motel in Tomah, Wis., and loved catching up with relatives and childhood friends during Cadott High School reunions.

Mac is a U.S. Air Force veteran, and during his career as a KC-135 navigator and boom operator, he was known by the handle “chrome turtle.” He guided countless pilots to safely refuel while in flight in Vietnam, and loved sharing stories about adventures with comrades he met while flying around the world.

He was the first member of his family to earn a college degree, and joined the Air Force after graduating from the University of Wisconsin, Superior. After retiring, he pursued his joy of cooking and earned degrees in hospitality and culinary arts and was an avid fisherman.

Pikeminnow anglers up and down the Columbia and Snake rivers, in Washington and Idaho, revere Mac as a bounty hunter for the predatory fish, and he met his soulmate, Linda Moore, while working to protect juvenile salmon and steelhead with the Pacific States Marine Fishery Commission.

Mac is survived by Linda Moore; brother, Patrick Kucera of La Crosse, Wis.; daughter, Vicki (Frank) Kastory, and grandsons, Clark and Carter, of Chicago; son, U.S. Army Col. Timothy (Amanda) McDonald, and grandchildren, Logan and Madison, of Huntsville, Ala; and stepchildren, Melissa Cox, Michelle (Francisco) Oquendo of Spokane, Wash., and Bobby Cox of San Jose, Calif.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Bernice Catherine Kucera in 2007; stepfather, Edward Kucera in 2003; brother, David McDonald in 1967; stepfather, Donald Benish in 1957; and he lost his father, Eugene Wilfred McDonald, during the 1951 polio epidemic.

A celebration of life and flag ceremony are scheduled at 2 p.m. PDT Saturday, June 27, at Merchants Funeral Home, 1000 7th St., Clarkston, Wash.

The family welcomes you to share your stories and photographs online at: https://merchantmemorialgroup.com/book-of-memories/4248297/McDonald-Robert/index.php.

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