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Welcome to the memorial page for

Rev. Paul F. McDonald

March 25, 1927 ~ October 8, 2017 (age 90)

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Rev. Paul F. McDonald, 90, (Chaplain Colonel USAF Ret.) died on Sunday, October 8, 2017 at Stonehill Care Center, Dubuque, Iowa,

Funeral services will be at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, October 12 at St. Raphael Cathedral Dubuque, Iowa, with Archbishop Michael Jackels presiding and Very Rev. Michael Mescher as homilist. Burial will be in Holy Family cemetery, New Melleray with military honors by United States Air Force and American Legion Post #6. Visitation for Fr. Paul will be from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Thursday at St. Raphael Cathedral. Leonard Funeral Home & Crematory, Dubuque, Iowa is in charge of arrangements.

He was born on March 25,1927, in Dubuque to Joseph and Cecelia (Chapman) McDonald. He graduated from St. Raphael Cathedral Grade School, Loras Academy and Loras College (1947) and completed theological studies at the St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul, Minn.

He was ordained on June 2, 1951, by Archbishop Leo Binz at Christ the King Chapel, Loras College. He served as associate pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Osage and St. Ansgar Mission Parish in St. Ansgar, 1951-53; St. Edward’s in Waterloo, 1953-58; and St. Mary’s in Marshalltown, 1958-59.

He served as a United States Air Force Chaplain, 1959-1989. His assignments were: Edward’s AFB, Calif.; Site Chaplain to six remote radar sites in Alaska; Stead AFB, Reno, Nevada; Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan; Minot AFB, N.D.; University of Oklahoma School of Journalism; Maxwell AFB, Montgomery, Ala., where he served for four years on the USAF Chaplain Resource Board; HQ USAF Europe, Ramstein AB, West Germany; Wright-Patterson AFB, Fairborn, Ohio; HQ Strategic Air Command, Offutt AFB, Neb.; Lackland AFB, San Antonio, Texas; HQ 15th Air Force, March AFB, CA; and Lackland AFB, San Antonio, Texas, from where he retired in 1989, following 30 years of active duty.

He served in the rank of Colonel since 1978. His military decorations include: the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal with five oak leaf clusters. He was also a life member of the American Legion and the Moose Lodge.

In 1988, he was presented with the Churchmanship Award from the Greater San Antonio Community of Churches. He retired on July 11, 1989 and later returned to Dubuque to reside at Villa Raphael and later at Stonehill. One his final accomplishments was to author a book “A Collar Well Worn” about his 60 years of experiences as a priest and chaplain.

He is survived by his nieces and nephews Rebecca “Becky” McDonald, Carol Postel, Bruce (Vicki) Postel, Bonnita McDonald, Susan (Bob) Vesper, Barbara Howell and Helen (David) Splinter, along with great nieces nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers Wilfred and Joseph and a special nephew Brent Postel who he enjoyed spending many hours with playing cards and fishing along with other activities.

Memorials may be given to Stonehill Care Center.

The family would like to thank the staff at the Villa Raphael especially Patty, the staff at Assisi Village especially Lisa, the nurses and staff at Stonehill Care Center, and to all his family and friends who visited father over the years.  

 Service Information

October 12, 2017

9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
St. Raphael Cathedral
231 Bluff Street
Dubuque, Iowa 52001

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