John MacDonald, River Ryan

Obituary of John David "Butch" MacDonald, River Ryan

We the family of John David (Butch) MacDonald announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, papa, great papa and friend on July 5th, 2023.



Born January 8, 1947, he was the son of Angus Joe and Willena (Currie) MacDonald.


Butch was raised by Da and Mama in New Waterford and could always be found by Da's side travelling to various fishing spots all over Cape Breton Island.  Butch was the baby of the family and was cherished by all his siblings.


In his younger years he worked at Ford Motor Company in Oakville before returning to Cape Breton. He retired in 1999 after working more than 25 years for DEVCO. He worked as a hoist operator on the surface, although his preference was to mine underground with the boys. 


He is survived by his devoted and loving wife of 55 years, Donna (Kennedy); his son David, New Waterford; daughters Dana, New Waterford, and Dawn (Keith) Walker, Ottawa.  Also survived by grandchildren Jocelyn “Princess”, Joseph “Tiger”, Connor “Rascal”, David Angus “Slugger” and great grandchild Jace “Sport”. 


Also surviving are his sisters Honor Van and Betty-Ann MacKinnon; sister-in-law Colina Gouthro along with his extended family and friends.


Besides his parents, he was predeceased by brothers Buddy and Bobby Chiasson, Danny Gouthro, Carl Wolgien, and sister Laura Walsh. He was also predeceased by his parents-in-law, Catherine, and Pat Kennedy of Glace Bay.


Cremation has taken place under the care and direction of V.J. McGillivray Funeral Home, 380 Smith Street, New Waterford, where visitation will be held from 12:00 until 1:45pm., and where a funeral service will take place at 2:00 pm Thursday with Fr Jim Oliver officiating. Burial will follow in St. Michael’s Cemetery, River Ryan.


In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to a charity of your choice, to a local food bank, or through a random act of kindness.


Special thanks to the Cape Breton Regional Healthcare, In-Home support, for the tremendous compassion and care given to Da.


Online messages of condolence can be sent to the family at


Anybody who knew Butch, knew him as the person he was – compassionate.