John Bruce McDonald was a very well-loved and incredibly respected retired Shasta-Trinity California Fire Department chief, Korean War veteran, and Happy Valley Fire Department board of directors member. John was the youngest fire chief in Shasta County and was a fire fighter for 38 years. On top of his various incredible accomplishments, John was the most loving husband and the most caring, supportive, and wonderful father to all of his kids, and all of the folks he came across that needed a father. Additionally, he was a foster parent with his wife Sharon for over 20 years, serving as a father for over 150 children.
John turned 87 years old in April 2021 and he was still running around and keeping busy like he was 20 years old again. Over the past year, John suffered a misdiagnosed mini-stroke and had been dealing with memory and mobility issues due to his age and his time fighting fires. However, he was still the man, husband, and father that we all knew. He could still talk for hours about Shasta County history or his time in the war, or when he met Sharon and smiled his charming dimple-filled smile to ask if he could use her back field to get his tractor into his neighboring property, in exchange for cutting back her cherry tree. He still made his own bullets (he was a gun collector, of course) and mowed various properties around Shasta County for fire safety. He still had a green thumb and could grow anything even in the crazy NorCal summer smoke and drought. He still Skyped his daughter Breanna, who lived on the East Coast, nearly every day and fawned over her dog, Ford, even though he never got to meet him in person. Even with health issues, John was the person we all knew… which makes sense given how stubborn and independent he was.
Tragically, on the evening of July 28th, 2021, John tripped on the stairs in his home while carrying up his dinner, fell, and hit his head on the tile below the stairs. He suffered massive brain injuries that resulted in his passing on the morning of July 30th, which was actually his 23 year wedding anniversary with his wife Sharon. John left us all way earlier than we wanted, but he is now in a better place. He is with his mom and dad, and he is no longer suffering. He is incredibly, extraordinarily missed.
John is survived by his wife Sharon, brother Richard, sons Bruce, Ron, Jonathan, Aaron, daughters Kim and Breanna, and his grand and great-grandchildren.