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George "Cliff" McDONALD
October 30, 1935 ~ January 3, 2024 (age 88) 88 Years Old
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It is with deep sadness that we have experienced the passing of George “Cliff” McDonald on Wednesday, January 3, 2024 at 12:45 am.
He waged a determined, resilient spirit, as was his character, over the last two years. He made a peaceful, stage right exit with his wife, Elaine at his side; as well as Son Alan, Daughters Heather and Shelley and granddaughters Marina and Tarah.
Cliff was born in Croydon, UK on October 30, 1935 and had extensive family history in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales. He moved to Canada in 1952. He was 19 when he joined the The Royal Canadian Air Force in 1954. He met and married Ann Elizabeth Sloan, also in the Air Force. They had three children, Alan, Heather and Shelley. They were married for 18 years and she predeceased him in 2003. He is survived by wife Elaine Mary McDonald, very special friend Jan Dennis, his children and two granddaughters and brothers Lawrence and Robin Muller.
Cliff served with the Air Force from 1954 to 1974. He was an avid plane enthusiast from a young age and followed his passion and trained in Avionics. Following his retirement from the Air Force, he ran his own avionics business in Edmonton and tried his hand at real estate. As well, a love of acting led him to play many roles onstage in theatre starting in his 20s.
He embarked on his next adventure as an instructor at The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) in Calgary, Alberta for 20 years. During this time he was awarded the Max Ward trophy by the Aircraft Maintenance Engineers to honour Exemplary Aviation Maintenance. His favourite sayings were, “ I never left one up there” and “ Trust Yourself”
He was in a support community for 48 years and undertook many adventures as result. He learned to ski, skydive and was a world traveller. In 1975 he endured and succeeded at a gruelling, mountaineering course called Outward Bound which had a big impact on his life path. Pilot training and swim lessons were among other feats.
Cliff loved life and he and Elaine undertook many road trips together to Borrego Springs, California as Snowbirds. He and Elaine spent the last 12 years enjoying living in a community called Willow Park in Nanaimo, BC, Canada. He could be seen riding his scooter and continuing to make friends and regaling everyone with his stories and pearls of wisdom generated from his full life.
The family wishes to acknowledge the love, care, support and compassion of the dedicated staff at Kiwanis Lodge in Nanaimo, BC for the past year. A celebration of life is planned for the Spring.