George E. McDonald, 90, of Story City, Iowa, died Nov. 10 at Israel Family Hospice in Ames, Iowa.
Born Jan. 20, 1913, in Helena, Mont., he was raised in Coggon, Iowa. He was a graduate of Coggon High School, class of 1931. He attended Iowa State University. He lived in Waterloo, Dubuque and Cedar Falls, Iowa. He retired to Cherokee Village and resided his last years in Story City, Iowa. He married Janet Henderson in 1936; she died in 1996.
Survivors include five sons: Craig (Vicki) of Ivins, Utah, Kent (Carol) of Cross Plains, Wis.; Paul (Marlys) of Washburn, Iowa, Gary (Lynn) of Cedar Falls, Iowa, and Donald (Lydia) of Little Rock; a daughter, Deborah (Tim) Mortvedt of Story City, Iowa; 15 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; a great-great-grandchild; a brother, Myron, of Warner Robbins, Ga., and two half-sisters -- Bethel Lowe of Lebanon, Mo., and Eileen Wright of Rogers, Ark.
He was preceded in death by three sisters -- Elizabeth, Virginia and Dorothy.
He began his career with John Deere Tractor Works in 1936 and worked until his retirement on Nov. 7 1975. During his career, McDonald was instrumental in the development of the first John Deere diesel engine as used in the Model R tractor (marketed in 1949) and continuing through to the change from 2-cylinder tractors to the 4- and 6-cylinder diesels of today. In 1972 McDonald transferred to the newly formed John Deere OEM Sales Division as Western United States Zone Manager until retirement.
He was a Mason, a Shriner, and a member of the Elks Club. He was an Eagle Scout, a Scout Leader in the 40s, and served in the Naval Reserve as a lieutenant commander. He was an accomplished violinist, singer, pianist and organist and an avid golfer.
After cremation, a memorial service will be held at Zion Presbyterian Church in Coggon at 3 p.m. Nov. 28 with interment following at the Coggon Cemetery. In lieu of flowers a memorial fund has been established in the name of George E. McDonald.