John J. McDonald

John J. McDonald - Watertown, NY - Rochester Cremation

Rochester, NY, formerly of Watertown NY, passed away on January 10, 2022, after a very courageous battle with cancer at the age of 73.

John is predeceased by his parents, John A. and Pansie M. McDonald.  Survived by his daughter Dawn Marie (Bill) Burns – Rochester, fur-baby Louie, brother Terry (Debbie) Rochester, nieces Robin & Lisa, and nephew TJ, many cousins and many, many friends in the Watertown area, Rochester area, and in South Carolina.

John grew up in Watertown, graduated from General Brown High School in 1966.  John was a United States Air Force Veteran.  John lived in the north country for several years, before relocating to Rochester.  Tired of the snow, he moved to South Carolina over twenty years ago.  John was a retired corrections officer with the South Carolina Department of Corrections.  In October 2021, John made the decision to move back to the snowy weather in Rochester to be near his family.

John enjoyed going for long rides to find the perfect Mom & Pop diner, dancing and all kinds of music.  John loved to make others laugh.   Margaritas, Tacos and Clemson Football were all favorites that he shared with his daughter.  John loved his group of “people”.  Many friends became family to John over the years – Tabitha, Christie, Brittany, Don, Paula & Girls – you were his SC family – thank you.

A huge heartfelt thank you to Terry & Debbie, Diane & Al, Bobby & Carmella – for the support and love!

A very special thank you to the Aurora House in Spencerport, NY for making the last days as comfortable and peaceful as possible.  Our family will forever be touched by your kindness, gentleness and love.

During John’s last days, he asked to “taste” an apple.  With the littlest piece of apple in his mouth, he looked up in astonishment and said “Enjoy the little things in life” because life can change in an instant & life sure did change for John.

Per John’s request, there will not be a formal funeral, instead there will be a graveside service with full military honors in Rochester at a later date.

#cancersucks #tellyourlovedonesyoulovethem #itsthelittlethings #anappleaday

9 Condolences

  1. Gail Robbins Brown on January 11, 2022 at 12:53 pm

    My brother, Steve Robbins, was a friend of John’s in high school and graduated in 66. I know Steve thought of John as a great friend even in years after high school. Steve died of brain cancer a little more than 7 years ago at Strong Memorial. I smiled as I read of John’s “taste of an apple”, as Steve had a similar experience. While at his bedside my daughter reached into her purse and pulled out an apple. She asked her Uncle Steve if he would like it. We gave him a small piece said he said it was the best thing he’d ever eaten. That memory and the smile on his face at that moment has stayed with all of us over the years and makes us smile. Such a little thing but an impactful memory. My husband, Chris also wishes to add his condolences to you, Terry. May your brother Rest In Peace.

  2. Mr. Robin J. Curtis on January 11, 2022 at 3:02 pm

    You were a confidant to me. May you rest in God’s peace, my dear friend. It seems like only a short time has passed since you did me the honor of being one of my ushers at our wedding. I always enjoyed your wit and sense of humor. Many a laugh we did share. And now only faded memories of those great times exist in my mind. I am heartfully saddened by your death. I with I had known you were ill. Tears of regret reach my face and roll down my cheeks. I will ALWAYS remember you, my brother.

    May all of “Chico’s” family be given the strength to endure, this most difficult of sorrowful occasions to happen during one’s short life. Ask our Lord for help; HE will give it to you freely.

  3. Linda Jackson on January 11, 2022 at 3:08 pm

    John “Cheeko” Mac has been a good friend for over 45 years. I was honored to have spent a couple days and New Years eve with him. We even were awake at midnight, imagine that at our age. He was very proud to be a Vietnam vet. He even proudly displayed it with a license plate on his car . We were dancing partners back in the day and when he came up here to Watertown to stay with me we continued where we left off. He is a Kind Gentle Man that will forever be loved and missed by me and his friends in Watertown. I send my heartfelt condolences to his brother Terry and many cousins and family and friends. Rest in Peace my dear friend.

  4. Francie Bryson on January 11, 2022 at 3:49 pm

    So sad to hear about Cheeko. He was such a good and fun-loving person and I have so many good memories of him. My condolences go out to his family. R.I.P., Cheeko.

    • Stuart and Lynne Ruttan on January 11, 2022 at 4:30 pm

      So sorry to hear of John’s passing as we remember him fondly as Cheeko! He was a good friend who we lost touch with over the years but memories we still have. He was quite a gentlemen as my wife Lynne would say and so sorry to hear of his passing. Sorry to John’s Family for your loss.

  5. Susan (Bryson) LaPatra on January 11, 2022 at 4:50 pm

    So very sad to hear about the passing of “Cheeko” John he was a good friend to me. He was a great guy that loved to dance and made us all laugh! Fun loving person and very thoughtful guy. He will be missed by many friends. Sending my condolences to his family very sorry for your loss.

  6. Jim Millar on January 11, 2022 at 7:40 pm

    To John’s family and cold weather friends: I lived across the street from John for about 20 years in South Carolina. John was a wonderful friend. Instead of shoveling snow, John would be out on his John Deere mower cutting his lawn. I being born and raised in Boston, didn’t know much about mowers and John was always ready to help me or lend a tool. John was a great man I’ll sincerely miss!

  7. Brenda Monaco on January 12, 2022 at 3:44 pm

    I too was fortunate to have known Cheeko! And as many have said he was a great guy and gentleman. So sorry for your family’s loss. Prayers for all.

  8. Therese Hentz on January 13, 2022 at 4:22 pm

    John and Terry lived next door to us with their parents John and Pansy on Theresa Road outside Watertown. When they were younger they were into go karts, BB guns and walkie-talkies. When they got older the cars got faster. I recalled John having a fabulous antique pickup truck. He had such a clear voice when he’s call over to say hello from his yard. Such a ready smile, too. I was looking at the photo they had here for him and quite frankly he doesn’t seem to have changed at all. Love and condolences to his extended family for what I Can Only Imagine is a tremendous loss.