MacDonald, John Hugh 'Big Hughie'
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, John Hugh MacDonald. He passed on April 28, 2020 at home surrounded by his loving family.
He was born on June 5, 1931 at home to Hugh and Mary (Beaton) MacDonald.
Da was always a hard worker. He started working on his uncle John Alex’s farm at the age of nine. From there he worked in the lumber yard with his father at the age of 14. At age 17 he met the love of his life, Mary Kispal, and they married two years later. They would have celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary this July.
Shortly before they were married, Da started working as a coal miner in #12 Colliery, where he worked for 24 years until his retirement. During his years in the mine, he also served as a Draegerman. Many evenings we sat and listened to Da tell stories of his experiences working in the coal mines and of the many friends he made.
Da had many accomplishments but his greatest was being a wonderful husband and father. He always made us feel safe, protected and secure.
Da had a love of horses passed down to him from his own father. He was very knowledgeable around horses and other horsemen would often look to him for advice and guidance. Da was a member of the United States Trotting Association. He trained and drove horses well into his 70’s when he decided to retire from horse racing. The love of the sport always remained strong in his heart.
In his 70’s he began woodworking and created several beautiful family heirlooms that will be cherished forever.
Da had a lifelong love of Scottish music, with many kitchen parties filling his home with lively tunes. His favorite players were his mother Mary on the fiddle accompanied by his sister Mary Jessie on the piano.
He is survived by his beautiful, devoted, loving wife, Mary (Kispal); six daughters, Susie (Lawerence) Currie, RN, New Glasgow, Ann (Richard) Baldin, Halifax, Peggy (Joey) Wilson, Lingan, Donna (Wade) Poirier, LPN, North Bay, Maureen (Cordell) MacPhee, Enfield, Janet (Butch) Chiasson, New Waterford; 13 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
He was predeceased by his parents; two brothers, Roderick and Alexander; five sisters, Margaret, Annie, Jessie, Marie Jessie, and Claraceda; one great- grandson, Landon and in-laws, Joseph and Gisella Kispal.
There will be no visitation. Cremation has taken place under the care and direction of V.J. McGillivray Funeral Home, New Waterford. A celebration of life Mass will be held at a later date. We would like to thank Dr. Biddulph, Dr. Archibald, Dr. Beecham, the Palliative Care team and the VON. Your kindness and compassion is appreciated and allowed Da to spend his final days at home surrounded by his loved ones. Online expressions of sympathy may be sent to the family at: www.vjmcgillivray.ca.