John Leo McDonald


John Leo McDonald, 99½, went home to heaven Thursday, July 7, 2016. He was a resident of West Lafayette and former resident of Franklin.

He was born to Arthur and Elenor McDonald on Oct. 21, 1916, in Chicago.

He graduated from De La Salle High School in Chicago, where he was a track standout, and from Illinois Institute of Technology.

Story continues below gallery

He was a U.S. Air Force pilot on the Nip Nipper in World War II, earning three distinguished flying crosses, three air medals, an American Theater ribbon, the Asiatic Pacific Theater ribbon with three battle stars, one battle star, two overseas ribbons, and over 20 medals from the government of China.

He retired as a navigator for Seaboard World Airlines (now FedEx).

Jack loved spending time with family and friends, especially with his grandchildren. He absolutely loved people.

He was the favorite among the nurses at the Indiana Veterans’ Home in West Lafayette, where he spent his final years.

Jack also loved dogs, fishing, boating, hunting squirrel and pheasant, and playing bridge.

He is survived by a son, Jack McDonald of Suwanee, Georgia, daughters, Kim (Bob) Silverio of Gainesville, Georgia, Maureen (Dave) Smith of Franklin and Gigi (Jeff) Mawyer of Midlothian, Virginia; grandsons, Dr. Bob (Cynthia) Silverio, Bill Silverio, Mike (Brandi) Dowty, Pat (Jackie) Dowty, Chris (Mary) Dowty, Zack McDonald, Matt McDonald, DJ Smith, Taylor Coy and Devin Gatewood, granddaughters, Kylie, Kate and Traci Smith; 12 great-grandchildren; sisters, Marge Caul of Ocala, Florida and Mary Willard of Florissant, Missouri; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Leo McDonald; and a son, Brian McDonald.

Fisher Funeral Chapel of Lafayette is handling his arrangements. There was a private celebration of life service for the family on Sunday.

You may light a Candle of Hope in remembrance of John and sign his online guestbook at