“Coach Mac” was one of the biggest ambassadors of the Stonehill athletic department
EASTON, Mass. (September 17, 2014) – The Stonehill College community is saddened by the passing of Tom MacDonald, ’53, a member of the College’s second graduating class and a student-athlete for the baseball and boxing teams before serving many years as a member of the coaching staffs of the baseball and football programs. “Coach Mac” was inducted to the Stonehill Athletics Hall of Fame in 1999.
“I was terribly saddened to learn of the passing of coach Tom MacDonald,” said Brendan J. Sullivan, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics at Stonehill. “In my time at Stonehill, I did not meet a person that was more proud of this institution than Coach Mac was. He cared deeply about the College’s history, its present, and the bright future he hoped to help shape in any manner he could – both for the College as a whole and for our Department of Athletics. His passion for Stonehill football and Stonehill athletics were unmatched. He called me on a weekly basis to check in and offer his valuable insight. I will miss those calls from my friend deeply. On behalf of Stonehill athletics, I offer my deepest sympathies to his wife, Diane, his children, and his entire family.””
MacDonald, who passed away peacefully on Monday morning at his home in Nashua, New Hampshire, was born in Chelsea, Massachusetts, and raised in Hull, but had lived in Nashua for the last 26 years and Braintree, Massachusetts, for 26 years prior to that. He attended Stonehill and Bridgewater State University and earned his MBA from Boston College. He served on the Braintree School Committee and was a chief contract negotiator at Sanders and Associates in Nashua. He later taught ethics and social justice at Bishop Guertin High School, where they created the Tom MacDonald Award in his honor. Many saw him as the “Ambassador” of Stonehill College football and he coached football and baseball at Stonehill and Bishop Guertin. Mr. MacDonald was a communicant of Immaculate Conception in Nashua and a member of the Knights of Columbus.
“From the first day I met him, Coach Mac showed me the unconditional love he gave to all associated with the football program at Stonehill,” said head coach Robert Talley. “He cared more about this college than anyone I know. He loved the game of football for the lessons it taught young men and the character it reveals and was a great supporter of this program, who usually ended all our conversations with ‘what can I do to help you coach’. I will miss the father figure, the coach and most importantly my friend.”
MacDonald is survived by his wife; Diane (Atkins) MacDonald of Nashua, seven children; Thomas J. MacDonald, Jr., Stonehill Class of 1980, and his wife Maribeth of Braintree, Cathleen MacDonald of Quincy, Massachusetts, David F. MacDonald of Braintree, Michael P. MacDonald and his wife Bella of Weymouth, Massachusetts, Stephen A. MacDonald and his wife Michelle of Hanover, Massachusetts, Douglas S. MacDonald of Braintree and Patricia M. Kelly of Arlington, Massachusetts. He is also survived by five grandchildren and a great-granddaughter.
Visiting hours will be held Thursday, September 18, in the Zis-Sweeney Funeral Home, 26 Kinsley Street, Nashua from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 216 E. Dunstable Rd., Nashua on Friday at 11 a.m. A reception will be held in the spiritual hall of Immaculate Conception Church following the funeral. Burial will be held in Hull Village Cemetery, Hull, Massachusetts, on Saturday at 11 a.m. Flowers will be accepted or memorials may be directed to Harvest on Vine Food Pantry, 46 Winthrop St., Charlestown, Massachusetts, 02129.