John Manderson McDonald III

Sunday 15th of June 1930 - Monday 13th of May 2019

John Manderson McDonald III



May 17, 2019 (4:00 pm - 8:00 pm)

Milward - Man O' War

1509 Trent Boulevard, Lexington, KY

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John Manderson “Honest John” McDonald, III, 88, former Chairman of the Board and CEO of A. Y. McDonald Industries, Dubuque, IA and President of Brock-McVey Co., Lexington, widower of Barbara Burnham McDonald, his wife of 36 years, died at his residence Monday after a long illness. Born in Dubuque, he was the son of the late John Manderson and Eleanor Wood McDonald, Jr.

He was a graduate of Phillips Academy and Yale University before joining the U. S. Air Force in 1952, becoming a 1st Lt. while serving as a Jet Fighter Pilot for five years. In 1957 He joined the A. Y. McDonald Mfg. Co. in Dubuque where he spent his career. In 1964 he moved to Lexington to also serve as President of Brock-McVey Co.

John served on numerous boards in both Dubuque and Lexington. Here he served as Campaign Chair. and Pres. of United Way of the Bluegrass, JA President, Chamber of Commerce Pres. and Chair., First Security National Bank and Trust, Blue Grass Community Foundation, Committee of 200, Thomas Moore College, Pres. and Chair. American Supply Assn., Salvation Army, Triangle Pizza, Pres. Laval Laundry, Pres. Blue Grass Assn. for Mental Retardation, and Lafayette Club.

John was a member of Lexington Rotary Club, Keeneland Club, Idle Hour Country Club, Lexington Club and had been an avid hunter, golfer and fisherman.

He is survived by his son, John Manderson (Julie) McDonald, IV; two daughters, Mary McDonald Gray (David) and Martha McDonald Coyle (and friend Donnie Anderson); seven grandchildren, Christopher Scott McDonald, Hollie Wood Coyle, Anna Catherine McDonald, Grace Elizabeth McDonald and John Manderson ”Quint” McDonald, V, all of Lexington and Barbara Ellen McDonald and Amanda McDonald Scales-Conklin (Dalton), both of Lawrenceburg, his former daughter-in-law, Amy McDonald Ruble and a special and devoted friend, Becky Planck, Lexington.

 He was preceded in death by two children, Scott Andrew McDonald and Heather Young McDonald and his sister, Margaret McDonald Humphrey.

Visitation 4-8 pm Fri. May 17 at Milward-Man ‘O War, 1509 Trent Blvd. Burial will be in Dubuque, IA.

Memorials to Blue Grass Community Foundation, 499 E. High St., Ste. 112, Lex. 40507, Lex. Rotary Endowment Fund, 401 W. Main, Suite 305, Lex. 40507 or YMCA, 239 E. High St. Lex., 40507.





Guest Book

Michael and Melissa Collis, Sr and family


We send our deepest and most heartfelt sympathies to the family during this time of sadness. We will be praying for you all and hope that you find peace and comfort during this time of grief.

1 month ago

Stephanie Holscher Bear and Rory Holscher


Our heartfelt sympathy to the McDonald family. Our heartfelt thanks to the family as well, for the amazing gift that John III was to the world. As a friend, business leader, and community supporter, he was one of a kind in all the best ways. No one who knew John III will ever forget him. --Stephanie Holscher Bear and Rory Holscher

1 month ago

Gordon Hyde MD


Honest John has been a dear and wonderful friend for 55 years . He has been one of the most charitable and giving people I have ever known. Barbara was a good friend of my wife Connie too, and after she died 10 years ago, he invited to me to live in the basement of his beautiful home when visiting Lexington a few weeks every year. His family also took me in, and I got to participate in their wonderful Sunday night family cookouts which John 111 cooked perfectly, Becky and family prepared perfectly, and all attended- sometimes as many as 20! They all treated me -and my partner Thelma as family— and I love them all. His golf swing was the shortest and fastest I have ever seen - and really bad - but he loved to wager! We went on many fun golf trips including the annual Lexington Naples golf outing every October when he stayed with me for 4-5 days for many years. We also were partners in a condominium in Florida his family still enjoys. His business acumen was incredible and he read the Wall Street journal virtually everyday until the end! He gave thousands of hours to countless charities in Lexington too. Honest John will be remembered by all whose lives he touched. He loved his family and my prayers are with them all —- and I hope I get to join John in heaven!

1 month ago

Frank Gettler


To John Jr., Mary, & Martha: We are sorry to hear about your fathers passing. Your father and I were doubles racquetball partners for years at the downtown YMCA where he was known as the "Grey Fox". Loved his spirit and most of all the continuous laughs.

1 month ago

Uncle Tucker and Aunt Pam Toy


To John Jr., Mary, & Martha, We are sorry to hear of your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

2 months ago