Paul David McDonald, Sr

Paul David McDonald, Sr

Birth
Pierce, Polk County, Florida, USA
Death 16 Feb 2010 (aged 82)
Polk County, Florida, USA
Burial Lakeland, Polk County, Florida, USA
Memorial ID 48570892 · View Source
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Paul David McDonald died at 82 on Feb 16th 2010 of Bone Cancer. Paul was a Businessman, Navy Veteran, Bull Gator, Banker, Inventor, Developer, Pilot, Phosphate Worker, Cattleman, Entrepreneur, Community Activist, Philanthropist, President & CEO of McDonald Construction Corporation. Paul was born December 13, 1927 and grew up in Mulberry, Fl. He graduated from Mulberry High School in 1945. During High school, he was an outstanding athlete, playing basketball and winning a district title and was quarterback of the football team. He received an offer to play football at the University of Alabama, however, he felt it was his duty to serve his country along with his brothers and he joined the Navy in March 1945. He served for four years, reaching the rank of Petty Officer and serving on the seaplane tender, U.S.S. Albemarle, which carried the "A" bomb to the Pacific for futher testing. After leaving the Navy, he returned to Polk County and worked in the phosphate mines and railroad. In 1950, he was recalled to the Navy for the Korean Conflict for one year. Upon his return, he worked for Rozier Heavy Equipment Co. in Tampa. Encouraged by them to start a heavy equipment construction company, he partnered with Horace Gill and they formed Gill-McDonald Construction in 1955. After the company grew, he bought out his partner and created McDonald Construction Corp. in 1962 located in Mulberry. Under the assistance of Wiley Johnson, Vice President, the company grew to become a major employer in Polk Co, providing as many as 500 jobs and was the largest user of Caterpillar equipment in the South East United States. During the early years the company built many roads including four-laning Hwy 60 in to Brandon, US 1 thru Cocoa Beach, US 441 and 41 and parts of Polk Co Parkway. The company also built Lake Buena Vista Golf Course, did the earthwork for the Pirates of the Caribbean & Animal Kingdom for Disney World. His reputation in the phospahte industry is well-known and his genius in developing the system to "walk" draglines is legendary, saving mining industries millions. He was frequently sought out by companies & goverment agencies for his advice in "dike" building and his opinions were incorporated into State & Federal saftey requirements. He owned McDonald Valve Service, McDonald Hydraulic Service, McDonald Tire and was Chairman & Founder of First State Bank. In 1975 he invented the "Knife Gate Valve" which revolutionized the phosphate & Valve Industry providing a virtually corrosive free valve. He received a patent for his invention & sold the Valves Worldwide. The Valve is still widely used in industry, homes, recreational vehicles etc. He became a Cattleman & member of the Florid Cattleman's Association using the brand PDM. He ventured into Real Estate and developed Eaglebrooke, a gated, upscale community with a 4 1/2 star Golf Digest rated Golf Course & Restaurant. He took flying lessons and became an excellent but daring pilot however his real passion was always football. As a BULL GATOR he the first person to buy a sky box at the University of Florida. His bronze relief is located in the south end of the Stadium. He generously provided to the scholarship funds for the University. He was only one of 19 who was awarded the honor of "Distinguished Director of the University of Florida. He was honored by the Gator Club as "The Loyal Gator Fan Award of Appreciation". In 2002 he was honored as Champion of Free Enterprise by the Polk Economic Education Counsel. Mulberry High School Auditorium was named in his honor for his contributions & he was inducted into Mulberry School Hall of Frame in 2001. He provided free earth moving services for local churches, little league fields, outside basketball courts & football fields. He was awarded by United Way the Alexis de Tocqueville Society. He was a member of Polk Co Blue Ribbon Committee and Polk Co Zoning Board. Preceeded in death by his wife Opal Marchant McDonald, his parents Roy L & Flossie McDonald, 3 brothers Glenn, Duke & Buck. He was survived by his wife Sande, daughters Paula McDonald Runo (Pat) of Lakeland, Fl, Debbie K McDonald of Brevard, NC, grandchildren, Michael Klein of Silver Spring, MD, Rhebecca Klein Purcell (Courtenay A Purcell) of London England, Jackson D Runo of Lakeland, Step-Daughter Stacy Gill Walker of Tampa, stepgrandchildren, Evelyn, Maddie & Charley Walker of Tampa, Step-son Fred Trey Gill of Port St Lucie, Fl step-grandchildren Fred Gill IV of Stuart, FL , Great-Granddaughter Ryleigh Chisler of Clearwater, Fl. Two sisters Mildred Caldwell (Bob) of Tallahassee, Fl, Mary Durrance (Ken) of Gainesville, Fl Two brothers, Ken McDonald of Lakeland, Fl, Dellwood McDonald (Ginny) of Lithia, Fl, 4 nephews, Judge Randall McDonald of Lakeland, Fl Roy McDonald of Springhill, FL, Terry Caldwell of Lakeland, Fl, Tommy Durrance of Tampa, Fl, 4 Nieces, Emily McDonald Higgins of Lakeland, Fl, Janet Clark of Tallahassee, Fl, Ann Schroeder of Tallahassee, Fl, Glenna Venoy of Gaineville, Fl 9 great Nieces, 6 Great Nephews. Gentry-Morrison Funeral Home of Lakeland handled the arrangements. Funeral Service was Monday Feb 22nd 2010 at First United Methodist Church of Lakeland. Interment followed at Oak Hill Burial Park in Lakeland. In lieu of Flowers, donations may be made to Gator Booster Club in Gainseville, Fl, The Paul McDonald Scholarship Fund of Mulberry High School, 1 Panther Place, Mulberry, Fl 33860 The SPCA of Lakeland, Polk Co Education Foundation, Bartow, Fl. Please Print "Paul D McDonald" on check. Mr. Paul was a great man with a Huge Heart. He will be deeply and sadly missed by everyone who knew him.


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Married June 23rd 1950


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  • Created by: Marsha Allen Durrance
  • Added: 23 Feb 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 48570892
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Paul David McDonald, Sr (13 Dec 1927–16 Feb 2010), Find A Grave Memorial no. 48570892, citing Oak Hill Burial Park, Lakeland, Polk County, Florida, USA ; Maintained by Marsha Allen Durrance (contributor 47062595) .