William R. MacDonald, Jr.

Date of Birth

November 1, 1941

Date of Death

July 31, 2020

On Friday, July 31st due to complications of dementia, the veil parted, and Bill crossed over to eternal life in the Love that was the Source of his own life. He died at home surrounded by his beloved family.

Bill was appropriately born on the Feast of All Saints, November 1, 1941 in Pittsburgh, PA to Bertha Marie Mosurak and William Richard MacDonald, Sr. At the age of 13 he began working in drugstores and worked his way through Pharmacy School at Duquesne University. In his second year of Pharmacy School he met the love of his life, Alice Flecker. Four years later on July 10, 1965 they were married and moved to Chicago where Bill had been recruited to work for Walgreens. In 1968 he purchased Woodland Pharmacy in the Downers Grove Medical Center where he met his dear friend, Dr. Ronald Lorenzini through whom he and Alice would adopt their three children, Jim in 1971, Brian in 1972, and Heather in 1975. And the circle of family began to grow larger.

In the bitter cold winter of 1977 they decided to move west where the climate was milder. A good friend suggested Santa Barbara. They made the trip to Santa Barbara, found a home and a job for Bill, returned to Chicago, sold the house and the business and in July moved the family to Santa Barbara. Bill bought Federal Drug in 1985. It was here that he began to fulfill his dream of a “Community Pharmacy.” The Federal Drug Family became Bill’s home away from home. He loved helping people and personal care and service were the hallmark of his life as a pharmacist. Bill loved that he has served five generations of families here in Santa Barbara. He didn’t make a distinction between work and play. Somehow, they both went together for him.

He was a strong force of nature. He was confident, knew what he wanted and how to get it, which usually involved hard work. If he saw a potential in you he was relentless until you saw it in yourself. If you were hurting and he said everything was going to be ok, you knew it would be.

Family was at the center of life’s meaning for him. He continually drew the circle of family larger with each new person he encountered. He was a lifelong Catholic and drew his inspiration from the life of Jesus whose inclusive model of love of others knew no boundaries. The only poem he remembered from his school days and liked to recite was one by Edwin Markham, “Outwitted.”

He drew a circle that shut me out —
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in!

That is what his Faith was all about, a Love that draws the circle big enough to include everyone as family.
Bill was preceded in death by his mother and father, and his two sisters, Mary E. and Pat. He is survived by his beloved wife of 55 years, Alice and by his sons Jim and Brian MacDonald and his daughter Heather MacDonald and the countless numbers that were family to him including his faithful canine companions, Toby and Timmy.

Special thanks Dr. Robert Wright for his personal care and compassionate concern, to Dr. Alex Koper and Dr. Philip Delio, and to Assisted Home Hospice of Santa Barbara, especially Judy Darin. Special thanks also to Betty Calderon and Maria Arroyo who sat with him in the early stages and to Daniza Martinez who helped care for him in his final days.
Burial will be private. A celebration of life will take place at a later date to be announced.

Donations in his memory may be made to Hillside House, 1235 Veronica Springs Rd, Santa Barbara, CA 93105, or The Father Virgil Cordano, OFM Living Memory Fund at Mission Santa Barbara, 2201 Laguna St. Santa Barbara Ca. 93105


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