Vincent Michael MacDonald was born on July 10th, 1935. The son of Vincent and Anna May (Krauthause) MacDonald, he was delivered by Dr. Mary MacDonald, his aunt.
A child of Chicago, he would recall with stories and smiles of his early years there; swimming in Lake Michigan, trips with his father to see boxing matches, parties at his uncles’ or aunts’ homes. After the passing of his father and then his mother in 1949, he was given a home at Angel Guardian Orphanage where he spent his high school years. Vince gave them credit for stabilizing his young life and helping him become much of the man he was to be.
Vince was always interested in learning something new. His quest for knowledge led him to the University of Illinois where he earned a bachelor's degree in floriculture. Although his many careers were not in this path, he always surrounded himself with the beauty of nature.
It was at the U of I that he met, through a designed meeting, the love of his life, Nancy E. Venn. They were married on June 9th 1957, and would spend the next 63 years together. She survives.
The couple were lucky enough to be able to be loved by a small but select number of Pekingese dogs. Small but fearless they were ever present on Vince's lap since he rescued the first one over 60 years ago. Ever happy to sit or lick at his nose they brought him endless joy and companionship.
Vince was an avid study of the way conflict affected civilization and culture. He loved art, music and literature, especially in the intricately woven design of its historical impact. He loved ancient civilizations and would pour over volumes of records pertaining to war, both ancient and modern, looking for similarities in tactics.
He would happily debate any side of a topic, equally as successful at each, or he would just as happily teach anyone all he knew if they had the time and would listen.
It was this great love of other cultures and times that, in 1965, led the young couple to embark on a 13-month trip of discovery across Europe, the British Isles, the Middle East, and Northern Africa. They were immersed in ancient Egyptian, Roman and, most importantly, Greek historical locations.
Settling eventually in Champaign, Vince reveled in the enormous availablity of intellectual endeavours to occupy his time, even after narcolepsy and blindness put an end to his mobility.
Vince passed into the ages on May 11, 2021. He died at home with his love, Nancy, at his side after listening to 'his songs' by Paul Robeson.
He has been a source of inspiration for many, the things he has done, the things he has known, the things that he has taught, his ability to carry on an intelligent conversation on any topic, but most of all his indomitable spirit.
There will be a visitation on Saturday, May 22 from 11-12pm at Owens Funeral Home, 101 N. Elm St, Champaign. A graveside funeral service will follow at 12:30 at Prairieview Cemetery, Savoy with Fr. Lee Brokaw officiating.
Memorials may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
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St Jude Children's Research Hospital
262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis TN 38105