Bob was born January 15, 1924, in Carlinville, Illinois, a son of James H. and Nellie Leefers McDonald. While stationed in England with the Army Air Corps during World War II, he fell in love and married Nora Tideswell (deceased) on June 4, 1945, in Bucknall, England. They started their life together in Carlinville, Illinois, and later moved to Urbana, where they raised their three children and Bob attended the University of Illinois. He earned a law degree and later became the owner of Huey’s store at Five Points in Urbana, eventually returning to the U of I to earn a Master of Business Administration. He was a strong supporter of the Illini from his student days into retirement and wore his Illini windbreaker everywhere.
He and Nora were avid golfers and began wintering in Naples, Florida, in 1983. They also traveled the world together. Bob was extremely proud of his Scottish heritage and was active in the St. Andrews Society of Naples for many years.
After Nora’s death in 1993 Bob moved to South Florida and married Helen DeWitt (deceased). They enjoyed golfing, traveling and entertaining family and friends in their lovely home in South Naples. Bob was extremely proud to be a member of the Greatest Generation. He had played trumpet as a boy and was a bugler at Camp Grant in Illinois during basic Army training. Later in life he was the official bugler of Naples and played at all patriotic holiday celebrations. He also found it gratifying to play taps at the funerals of all veterans in Collier County. One of his happiest trips later in life was as a guest of Honor Flight, which transports America’s veterans to Washington, DC, to visit memorials honoring the service and sacrifices of themselves and their friends.
Bob’s love for music was lifelong. Always a fan of Big Band swing and jazz, especially Tommy Dorsey, at age 80 Bob decided to learn to play the trombone. He took lessons from local great Art Blatt and then joined the New Horizons Band directed by Ken Carper. He even traveled to summer music camps in Maine and Michigan to hone his skills. He spent the last three years of his life with his stepdaughter Colleen and her family in Estero. Colleen had to cancel Bob’s Memorial Day bugling “gig” because of his declining health.
Bob was one of a kind and enjoyed a long and interesting life. Predeceased by his two wives and his daughter Barbara Roesch, he is survived by his daughter, Linda Zeigler of Camden, Maine; his son, Robert H. McDonald of Traverse City, Michigan; grandsons Seth Zeigler of Amherst, New Hampshire, and Brett Zeigler of Orono, Maine; granddaughters Jamie McDonald of Eugene, Oregon, and Kylie McDonald of Traverse City, Michigan; and great granddaughter Nora Rose Zeigler of Orono, Maine. Also surviving are a brother, Richard McDonald of Roseburg, Oregon; nieces Marcia McDonald of Sherwood Oregon, Anne McDonald of Roseburg Oregon, Sarah McDonald Weathers of Seattle, Washington, and Deborah Taras of St. Croix, Virgin Islands. Bob also leaves four stepdaughters, Colleen DeWitt Kolb and Dee DeWitt of Estero, Florida, and Kandy and Melissa DeWitt or Ft. Myers, Florida.