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Dr. McDonald was born on April 27, 1946 in a military hospital in the Panama Canal Zone as World War II was coming to a close to Drs. Donald and Virginia McDonald. His childhood was spent in Seattle, Washington back when it was an idyllic town of 50,000. It was there that he learned the beauty of nature and the great out of doors, camping, mountaineering, sailing and skiing. He earned the rank of Eagle Scout. He was the oldest of three children.

A career change for his dad resulted in a move to Rochester, N.Y. during high school. He then attended Colby College in Waterville, Maine graduating with a degree in chemistry. Next he spent four years getting his medical degree at Wake Forrest University Medical School and surgical training at Parkland Hospital in Dallas. For two years, he volunteered in the Indian Health Service in Crow Agency, Montana before returning to finish his surgical residency in Tucson, Arizona.

After 1978, Austin, TX became his home. He was the senior partner in the surgical group, Bruce B.McDonald and Associates. In the late eighties, he became one of the pioneers that brought laparoscopic surgery to central Texas. Away from the hospital, he enjoyed competing with fellow sailors at the Austin Yacht Club. He took up windsurfing and, after winning a district championship, sailed for Gun Sails factory team for several years.  He was one of the co-founders of the Austin windsurf Club.  His two daughters Kelly and Shelby were born in Austin.

At the turn of the century, Dr. McDonald decided to try something different in the way of giving back. He sold his home, bought a motorhome and went off to do surgery full time in underserved areas of the United States as well as his annual surgical trip to Honduras. He relates that this was the most fulfilling years of his life. These travels through the US and abroad gave him the opportunity to follow his passion of photography. His photos can be viewed on his web site.

His surgical career came to an end while cycling in Austin when a hit and run driver left him with serious injuries that precluded doing surgeries that involved prolonged standing. He retired in 2010 and took up landscaping his home in Hudson Bend. The xeriscape landscaping along with multiple koi ponds and tropical plantings became a haven for wildlife as well as photographers. The house was on three annual Pond Society tours as well as other local garden club field trips.

In 2012, he expanded his passion for sailing by buying a high-performance sailboat, a J70, and travelled Texas and the US competing in high level events and winning the Texas circuit in both 2014 and 2015.  By 2017, a growing J80 sport boat fleet at the Austin Yacht Club became his  full-time sailing interest with fierce competition against some of the best sailors in Texas.  

He is survived by his brother, Stuart McDonald, sister, Nancy McDonald, daughters Shelby Pearcy and Kelly McDonald, significant other, Lisa Porta, three cats, a dog and one or more ex-wives.

Celebration of life will be at the Austin Yacht Club following a Viking funeral off AYC point on Lake Travis.