Michael Steven McDonald
November 15, 1957 - July 14, 2017
Papa, The Man, The Myth, The Legend
On November 15, 1957, Michael Steven McDonald was born to John Patrick McDonald and Sonya Maxine McDonald in Leed, South Dakota. Mike was one of 5 kids, Chris Hermes, John McDonald, Jr., Tim McDonald, and Joe McDonald. He married Denise Seebach on May 1, 1980. He is survived by: 3 children, Dusti Cummins, Christina Stanley, and Dennis McDonald; their spouses, Scott Cummins, Michael Stanley, and Amanda McDonald; and 10 grandkids, Gabe, Harmon, Christopher and Evelyn Cummins, Hailey, Chloe, and Arya Stanley, and Courtnee, Tyler, and Zoey McDonald. Michael passed on July 14, 2017 in Everett WA due to an unknown medical issue.
Simple, right? Well, Mike was never simple. A man who once described a satellite seen in the night sky as a “communications device” to a toddler could never be simple. So, bear with me as I try to describe to you this, never simple man.
Growing up was interesting with Mike, at least that was what his stories and the grey hair he gave his mother always led us to believe. A boy who snuck ice cream bars under his pillow to hide till later. To only learn ice cream + SD heat = MESS. It seemed to me he and his siblings never spoke of their childhood together without a gleam in their eye. Growing up, as or with Mike must have been interesting to say the least.
I am personally grateful to my grandparents for getting him to the next step, meeting and marrying my mother. Mike met and fell in love with Denise and her daughter Dusti. I say he fell in love with them both to be accurate, as evidenced by his 37 years of marriage to Denise and total and complete love of Dusti from the beginning. She is his oldest daughter. They have a bond that has only strengthened through the years. Mike and Denise welcomed a girl, Christina, a couple years later, with a son, Dennis, following a couple years after that. Mike always parented his three children with love, patience and a practical mind set. Whether it was telling me my new, but highly cute, shoes were totally impractical. To teaching Dennis mechanics and the two building anything they could imagine. To regretting an overreaction to losing a headlight, which ended in a TV for Dusti. Mike was a wonderful parent, who raised three children who try and parent as he did.
Of course, he did not do it alone. Mike and Denise had a marriage that held together through many years. Their love showed us that no matter what life throws at us hold on to each other and keep moving forward. As Denise told us, her life is forever changed.
Now on to the important people, the grandkids. I think, Papa was Mike’s favorite part of life. Papa was always ready to read a story, teach a magic trick, share a snack or just talk about anything. Not to mention trying his jokes on each successive generation. With the previous generation guarding the punchline to the horse tied to the fence post or the frozen cat joke. Papa was the one to introduce oral stories to the grandkids. Ensuring their imaginations would grow to be as big as his. Papa also had amazing patience and explained anything to the kids. No matter the age or gender, Papa would always listen, help and love.
Mike loved his job at Quantum Windows and Doors. That shop was his baby. He worked long and hard but loved keeping things running.
Dads passing is a shock and, I believe, always will be. I will never wake up and not have a moment of shock at his leaving. I console myself knowing that even in a brief meeting Dad would touch a person’s life profoundly.
The best way to honor and keep his memory alive is to follow a piece of advice he once gave, “have and give patience.” By the end, this complex man guided his life with a very simple word, patience.