BEECHMONT -- Donald "Donnie" McDonald, 77, of Beechmont, passed away Aug. 7, 2019, at Norton's in Louisville. He fought a very hard and difficult battle but won that battle and now resides in his eternal home in heaven.
Donnie was born in Greenville on Oct. 5, 1941. He graduated in 1961 from Hughes-Kirk High School and was a star basketball player for the Tiger team. He was a retired coal miner and was employed at Kirkpatrick's Caney Creek Mine. He was married to his high school sweetheart for 56 years and was blessed with two children and five grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his mother, Inez McDonald; his grandparents, Tom (Willie) McDonald; and in-laws Leo (Alma) Tooley.
In spite of a mining accident that left him with only one arm, he remained very active and pursued many interests and hobbies, including basketball, baseball, softball, fishing, hunting, trap shooting, beekeeping and UK basketball. In fact, he helped to coach the Wildcats to many victories from the comfort of his living room recliner. In 2014, he received state recognition by winning the Bee and Honey Sweepstakes blue ribbon at the Kentucky State Fair.
Donnie was best known as an accomplished sportsman and conservationist. In 1988, he won first place in Uncle Lee's Big Buck Muzzle Loader Contest with a winning score of 136.75. In 1992, he won first place in the Uncle Lee's Turkey Contest with a winning score of 71.11. Also in 1992, he was awarded the Boss Gobbler Award by the Central Chapter of NWTF with a winning total score of 72.94. He was instrumental in establishing the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) Three Rivers Chapter and helped to organize the annual banquet for 15 years. Additionally, he supported the hunters of tomorrow by helping to organize the annual JAKES' Day event. He was a Diamond Life sponsor for NWTF and served on the board for the Kentucky state chapter for several years. In the early '70s, he helped to establish a shooting range in Beech Creek and an archery range in Greenville. In 2001, he was awarded the Shelley Nickell Memorial Award for outstanding service in the restoration of wild turkey. In 2004, he was awarded the Roger Latham Sportsman Service Award for outstanding contribution to the American wild turkey and its conservation in Kentucky. Finally, in 2001, he received the prestigious Sportsman of the Year Award in recognition for being an outstanding sportsman in the commonwealth of Kentucky. In honor of this award, a brick with his name was added to the walk of fame at the Salato Wildlife Center in Frankfort. A memorial tree will now be planted in the park there to honor his contributions to conservation.
Most importantly, he was a member of Leigh's Chapel Church where he looked forward to weekly worship services and fellowship with his church family.
He is survived by his loving wife, Joanna Tooley McDonald; two children, Geroni (Seth) Porter and Rock (Tammy) McDonald, both of Beechmont; and five grandchildren, Logan, Skylar (Catherine) and Ridge (Karisa) Porter and Landon and Leah McDonald.
Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Leigh's Chapel Church with Brother Roger Wright officiating and Brother Tony Shanks assisting. Burial will follow in Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Greenville. Visitation will be after 10 a.m. Saturday at Leigh's Chapel Church.
Tucker Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be made at www.tuckerfuneralhomes.com.