James M. McDonald, age 80, of Upper Sandusky, Ohio, passed away on Tuesday, September 17, 2019 at 11:47am at his home.
James was born on July 8, 1939 in Salem, Ohio to James M. and Katherine Louise (Shafer) McDonald, both of whom are deceased. He married Diana Lynn Pfeifer on May 8, 1982, and she survives in Upper Sandusky.
He is survived by his children, Kendra (John) Gange, and Kent (Barbara) Cooper, and 4 step children: Elizabeth (Jeffrey) Feick, Phil (Lorene) Eley, Ruth (Michael) Schryer, and James (Florence) Eley. 14 granchildren and 1 great grandchild.
James was a 1957 graduate of Columbus North High School. He attended Ohio State University from 1957-1962, obtaining a Bachelor of Music Education Degree, with a Tuba Major and a String Minor. He attended Toledo University and Bowling Green State University, graduating with a Master of Music Degree in 1969. He continued his education at Bowling Green State University, receiving a Secondary Principal’s Certificate, and then completed other post graduate work on the Doctoral level.
He had teaching experience of over 33 years as a Band Director, Music Teacher and Athletic Director, having been employed as Band Director in the Northwestern Local Schools in Union County, St Mary’s City Schools, Bowling Green City Schools, and after 25 years, he retired from the Upper Sandusky Exempted Schools. He served part-time on the faculties of Ohio Northern University, University of Findlay, and Ohio University. He was an education representative for Coyle Music, Ohio Pro Music, and Lentine’s Music. He returned to the Upper Sandusky Schools, acting as Athletic Director for 2 years.
James and his wife, Diana, are the owners and operators of Storage Unlimited in Upper Sandusky.
He is a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Upper Sandusky, where he had served as choir director,
James was a member of Warpole Lodge 176 F&AM, McCutchen Chapter, 96 R.A.M, Upper Sandusky Council 98 R&SM, and Warpole Chapter 366 Order of the Eastern Star. Serving as a presiding officer of each. He also is a past commander of Marion Commandery 36, Past Most Wise Master of Rose Croix, which helped him earn the Scottish Rite Meritorious Service Award along with the 33rd Degree of the Scottish Rite, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the United States. Having served as presiding officer of the lodge, chapter, council and commandery, he received the title of a Knight of the York Cross of Honour with one quadrant. In 2006-07 he served as the Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of Ohio and as its leader traveled all over the state visiting and advising its membership, numbering in the thousands. Jim was active in several other Masonic-affilliated organizations too numerous to mention.
He was a member of the Ohio Music Education Association; having served as President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer, throughout the years. He also served as a member of the large group and solo and ensemble music selection committee; and is active throughout Ohio as an adjudicator.
Additional memberships include The American School Band Directors’ Association, and American Federation of Musicians. He has performed with the Columbus Symphony Brass Quintet, The Toledo
Zoo Band, the Mansfield Symphony Orchestra, and 17 years with the Lima Symphony Orchestra, and the Ohio State University Alumni Band.
He also served 3 terms on the Board of Governors of the Ohio State University School of Music Alumni Association and two terms on the Board of Governors of the Ohio State University Marching Band Alumni Association.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 4:00pm Sunday, October 20, 2019 at the St. Paul Lutheran Church in Upper Sandusky, with Rev. Ed Hunker officiating. Masonic services will also be held on Sunday to be held prior to church services.
The family will receive immediately following the services in the church fellowship room.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Paul Lutheran Church, or Hospice of Wyandot County, or the Royal Arch Foundation, and can be sent to Lucas-Batton Funeral Home, 476 S. Sandusky Ave. Upper Sandusky, Ohio, 43351.
Online condolences may be sent to www.lucasbatton.com.
To send flowers to James' family, please visit our floral section.
St. Paul Lutheran Church
Hospice of Wyandot County
Royal Arch Foundation