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Carl McDonald
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Obituary for Carl McDonald

Carl McDonald
Carl E. McDonald
(Major, Retired, USAF)

Carl E. McDonald, of Ashland, passed away on Sunday, March 19, at Samaritan Hospital, with his family at his side.

Carl was born June 26, 1930 in Jacksonsville, IL, but grew up in Kansas City, Kansas. After graduating from high school, he joined the USMC Reserves and then the United States Air Force. He spent over 22 years in the Air Force and was proud to have risen from the enlisted ranks to officer and pilot during his service. He flew several different aircraft during his career from the small T-34 and T-38 in pilot training to the C-133A-Cargomaster, which at its time was the largest aircraft in the USAF inventory. He also flew a C-131 in the AeroMedical Evacuation Transport Squadron out of Travis Air Force Base. He served in Strategic Air Command and Military Airlift Command. It was from Dover AFB that he flew the C-133A on many missions in the Far East during the Vietnam years. His family joined him at duty stations both in the states and abroad. During his life he visited all 50 states and over 30 countries. Family and friends enjoyed stories of his travels.

After his retirement from the Air Force in 1970, Carl began a second career putting his procurement officer skills to work in a civilian setting. It was at this time he began his long business association and friendship with Bob Archer, beginning at Knapp-Monarch in St. Louis, to Kent Sporting Goods in New London, retiring as a Vice President in 1996.

Carl was an avid golfer and a frequent sight at Ashland Country Club golf course, where he made three prized holes-in-one.

Carl set a fine example of honor and hard work and will be remembered for his high standards and for facing every challenge head-on.

His family is heartbroken. They will miss his wisdom, strength and humor. Carl loved his family deeply and always made sure they were happy and safe. Carl is survived by his beloved wife of 65 years, Diana, two daughters, Kris Coffey of California; Shannon McDonald of Texas, and a son, Michael McDonald of Virginia, along with three grandchildren, Carly Tomeo, Corbin McDonald and Stuart McDonald, and a sister, Estella Jenkins in Kansas. He was predeceased by a son, Carl McDonald, Jr.

A private family service will be held, Friday, March 24, 2017 in the Denbow-Gasche Funeral Home. Interment will follow in the Ashland Cemetery where the Ashland Veteran’s Honor Guard will conduct full military honors.

In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to Toys for Tots, Gift Processing Administrator, 18251 Quantico Gateway Drive, Triangle, VA 22172.

Online condolences may be shared on the funeral home’s website at

Denbow-Gasche Funeral Home & Crematory is handling the arrangements.

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