Obituary: Leland J. McDonald

Leland J. McDonald (“Lee”), age 88, of Washington Island died on Sunday, October 30, 2016. He was born to Dennis and Marie McDonald on July 28, 1928 on Washington Island, Wisconsin.

Lee went to school on Washington Island and in Kenosha, WI. He graduated from Mary D. Bradford High School in Kenosha, WI, and attended Carthage College and U.W. Extension for continuing education. Lee worked for McDonald Bros. Fishery until 1950 before entering the U.S. Army. He served eleven months in Korea. After nearly two years in the Army, he returned to Washington Island and worked again for McDonald Bros. Fishery.

On September 17, 1955, he married Lois Ann Jessen at Trinity Lutheran Church on Washington Island. They made their home in Kenosha where they started their family. Initially, Lee worked for American Motors Corporation and, then, Dynamatic (Eaton Corporation). He worked for Dynamatic for more than 34 years. During the summer, Lee and Lois also operated McDonald’s Lakeshore Cottages, along with Lee’s brother and sister-in-law for many years. Once his wife Lois retired from teaching, they returned home to Washington Island. Lee enjoyed sport fishing and loved his commercial fishing heritage.

Lee was a member of St. Mary’s Lutheran Church in Kenosha, and Trinity Lutheran Church on Washington Island. He served on the St. Mary’s church council for nine years, and was president for four years. He was also a member of the Washington Island and Kenosha Lion’s Clubs, the Danish Brotherhood, and the Kenosha Elk’s Club for many years.

Preceding Lee in death are his parents, Dennis and Marie McDonald, brothers, Clark and Charles (Buzz), and sister, Evelyn Swiger.

Lee is survived by his wife, Lois, and four sons and daughters-in-laws – Kevin (Lisa) McDonald, Brian (Mary Beth) McDonald, Dennis (Lisa) McDonald, and Scott (Sara) McDonald, as well as beloved sisters- and brothers-in-law, and nieces and nephews. Lee and Lois have ten grandchildren: Kelly, Emily, Maggie, Matthew, Catherine (Catie), Nathan, Grace, Clara, John and Annelise.

The funeral will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church on Saturday, November 5. Visitation will be offered from 10 to 11 am on Saturday, November 5, with funeral services immediately following.

In lieu of flowers, memorial remembrances made to Trinity Lutheran Church, Washington Island Community Health Program (WICHP), Washington Island EMTs or Washington Island Maritime Museum, would be appreciated by the family.

Online condolences may be made at

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