Walter V McDonald – Damn Fine Run.


I am sorry to learn of your dad’s passing. Even though I had never met him, I have so many great stories about him from you. I think that is probably the best legacy a person could leave, to have people remember them fondly and tell stories about them and have people they never met mourn their loss.

You were so lucky to know him for so much of your life and to have so many great memories of him and your mother. Such larger than life characters remind us to value our time here and with each other. And hopefully, with a little luck and a lot of bravery, we can create stories that will be told by future generations. To become family lore. To be toasted when two or more people that knew us gather.

Please let us know if there is anything the Anderson side can do for you, Brian, or Amy. You all mean the world to us.

Feel free to visit his online memorial and sign the guestbook here:  Obituary For: Walter V McDonald | Norvel Owens Mortuary.

Walter V McDonald 
(November 5, 1920 – April 16, 2012) 

Walter Vincent McDonald, of Flagstaff, AZ passed away on April 16th, 2012. He was a beloved father, grandfather, great grandfather, and friend to many. Walt was born on November 5th, 1920 in Lowellville, OH and was raised during the depression era. He was a standout athlete at Struthers High School (where he is a member of the hall of fame) balancing academics, sports, and working at the local steel mill. Walt then attended Tulane University on athletics scholarship for both football and basketball. While maintaining grades that kept him on the Dean’s List, Walt excelled in football where he was named to the All Southeastern Conference for two years, Honorable Mention College All-American, and played in the Blue/Grey college football all-star game. By the end of his career at Tulane he held the record for most receptions in a game and a season, which stood for 10 years. It was at Tulane University where he met Marjorie Siler, from Cottonwood, AZ, and they married on November 2nd, 1943.

After graduation Walt was drafted by the Washington Redskins, but chose to volunteer for the Navy where he served in the Pacific Theatre of WWII as a Lt JG and Commander of a PT boat. While serving he was missing in action in New Guinea. After the war Walt relocated to Flagstaff, AZ to be with his wife Marjorie. He then returned to his career in professional football joining the AAFC/NFL playing for the Miami Seahawks, Brooklyn Dodgers, and the Chicago Hornets where he was one of the last players to go both ways as a blocking back and linebacker. Highlights of his career included playing in the first televised professional football game between the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Yankees, as well as being 2nd overall in Brooklyn Dodgers franchise history for interceptions. After the 1949 season Walt was offered a large contract with the Redskins but decided to retire from football and returned to Flagstaff. Walt continued to receive an NFL pension check until his death.

Walt made his mark in Flagstaff being the first professional football player and a successful businessman. His business endeavors included developing, owning and operating Starlite Lanes bowling alley, as well as owning Club 66, the Pine Hotel, and the Museum Club. Walt was inducted into the Arizona Bowling Hall of Fame and later into the Flagstaff Sports Hall of Fame. He enjoyed spending time with friends and family boating at Lake Powell, fishing, and taking trips with his wife in their motor home.

Walt was preceded in death by his loving wife Marjorie McDonald and son-in-law Aldo Anderson. He is survived by his five children: Susie Anderson Sedona, Choo Choo Walter McDonald Jr Flagstaff, Debbie Mews (Randy) Flagstaff, Dennis McDonald (Susie) Camp Verde, and Randy McDonald (Dana) Tucson, 16 grandchildren, and 10 great grandchildren. Services will be held at Nativity Catholic Church on Thursday, April 19th at 10 A.M. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Hozhoni Foundation, Inc. 2133 N. Walgreen St. Flagstaff, AZ 86004 or Flagstaff Sports Foundation, 114 N. San Francisco St. Suite 17, Flagstaff, AZ 86001. With special thanks and gratitude to the staff and caregivers at The Peaks Senior Living, Heritage Assisted Living, and Hospice Compassus.

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