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Discovery True Colors Oct/Nov 2005

Caring husband, doting grandfather, someone you can always go to for sound advice—these are just a few descriptions of Bruce Duncan McDonald. There are many ways to describe the man, but nothing captures the love that he gives to his family and everyone around him.

Hard work has paid off for McDonald with over 41 years of marriage with his wife Nancy and almost as many years of child raising, but retirement has never meant idle time.

McDonald grew up in Tacoma, Washington, then managed four jobs at one time to put himself through college at Washington State University. He graduated with a degree in sociology from “Wazzu” in 1958. In his heart, McDonald became and always remains a Cougar. He began his career in 1960 with Pan American World Airways as a customer service agent in Honolulu and spent three years there before returning to Seattle in a management position. There, he met the love of his life, Nancy Gardner. The two were married in 1964 and remain so today.

The couple survived the 1970s when times were tough in the volatile airline industry. McDonald started the decade in Camrahn Bay, Vietnam working as an airport manager for the Pan American R&R flights. When he returned the resourceful McDonald shuttled his family of four kids first to Detroit, Michigan, back to Seattle, then to San Francisco.

In 1986, McDonald had the opportunity to join United Airlines when the company purchased Pan Am’s Pacific routes. He and Nancy also started a home business, called Speedi Bid. The business helped many flight attendants receive their paychecks and bid for domestic or international routes while helping to put his four children through college out of state.

Finally, after 40 years of service with Pan Am and United Airlines, Bruce and Nancy “retired” from the hectic Bay Area scene to enjoy the relaxed pace and beautiful scenery of Central Oregon. “Waking up to the sunshine and the change of seasons here—I have a lot to be thankful for—my wife, children and grandchildren,” he said.

Aside from that, McDonald enjoys watching Cougar football and traveling with Nancy to far-off locales such as Holland, Japan, the Caribbean and their favorite, Hawaii. On November 19 Bruce McDonald will enjoy his 70th birthday with a trip to the Oregon coast with family, memories and good times ahead. Happy Birthday, Dad! —JEFF McDONALD Cascade Discovery

What is your favorite fitness routine? Walking with my wife Nancy and working out on the treadmill at the Athletic Club of Bend.

What is your idea of a fabulous meal? Lobscouse—a Norwegian dish my mother used to make, served with artichokes dipped in butter; chocolate chip mint ice cream is a must for dessert.

If you could come back to life as any person, animal or thing, what or who would that be? Winston Churchill. He held England together and rallied the troops. The British might have succumbed otherwise.

What is the thing you know most about? Finance and World War II history.

Where is the best place to vacation? Nancy and I just returned from a cruise in the Hawaiian Islands. Just magnificent.

What would be your recipe for a long life? Think positively and things will work out the way you want them to. Don’t worry about the things you have no control over. They just bring you down.

Whose book could you not put down recently? Jackdaws, by Ken Follett.

Who are your heroes in real life? My kids are my heroes. They are all college graduates and have done well in life with good values and principles.

What is your secret hobby? Money planning, listening to Money Talk with Bob Brinker.

Which talent would you most like to have? To play golf well.

What is your greatest regret? Drank too much in my early days, didn’t save enough money early.

What is the best thing about Central Oregon? The sunshine and the beautiful scenery.

Who or what inspires you the most? My wife Nancy—we’ve been through a lot in 41 years of marriage.

What is your biggest flaw? Ice Cream.

What is your greatest asset? Sense of humor, compassion for others.

On what stereotype would you want to set the record straight? Nobody is perfect. Nobody is all bad, either. Most people are somewhere in between.

What has been your biggest accomplishment? A secure retirement and raising four kids to success.

What is the one thing you are grateful for today? My wife, Nancy.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were younger? To enjoy the moment. There may not be a tomorrow.

What do you value most in your friends? Humor and honesty.

What is your motto? A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

What is your biggest complaint about today’s politicians? They are too partisan. They don’t serve the people as well as their parties’ needs.

What’s the greatest invention in your lifetime? Space travel.

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