WILLIAM VINCENT MACDONALD, JR.
January 30, 1940 – January 12, 2022
William “Bill” Vincent MacDonald, Jr., age 81, died peacefully on January 12, 2022 while surrounded by his two loving sons. William was born in Medford, Massachusetts on January 30, 1940, as the son of the late William MacDonald, Sr. and June (Moore) MacDonald.
Growing up in Medford, Massachusetts, Bill attended Medford Vocational Technical High School where he majored in Electrical, developing a passion for all things electronic. It was also during these early years that he began a life-long bond with a close group of friends – all named Bill. Every year the four friends would gather for the annual “Bill Party” on Cape Cod where they would catch up and reminisce about the time spent in their youth “runnin’ the road” along the Fellsway from Wellington Circle to Roosevelt Circle.
After graduating high school in 1958, he embarked on a brief career as an electrical apprentice wiring many commercial buildings throughout Boston. In July 1962, he enlisted in the Army, spending most of his service stationed in Taiwan and playing a key role in America’s cryptologic efforts at the height of the Cold War. Following his honorable discharge in 1965, he joined the Grumman Corporation as an Electronic Technician working at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. His participation as a member of the Apollo Moon Landing Program’s Lunar Module team, beginning with Apollo 11, was always a source of great pride.
On May 7, 1966 he married the love of his life, Helen Marie Pentecost, to whom he was married for 55 years, before her death in 2021. Soon after getting married, the two began raising their sons, Matthew and Michael, in Friendswood, Texas until returning to New England in 1972. Over the next 35 years, he worked as a principal software engineer and manager at some of Massachusetts most notable technology companies including Sanders Associates, Wang Laboratories, Quantum Corporation, and Dell EMC.
Even in retirement, he wasn't content sitting still. Over the past several years, he worked as a sexton at the United Methodist Church of Westford, MA. In this role, he found great joy sharing his gifts in service to others.
Bill’s Roman Catholic faith was a constant throughout his life, and he spent many years teaching CCD and Marriage and Baptism preparation with his wife, Helen. In addition, he was an active member of The Knights of Columbus and served the Church weekly as both an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion and as a Lector. His steadfast faith and commitment to God had a strong influence on all who knew Bill, most notably his children and grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife Helen Marie (Pentecost) MacDonald and their parents Howard Pentecost, Rita (Shalvey) Pentecost, William MacDonald, Sr., and June (Moore) MacDonald.
William is survived by his son Matthew MacDonald and his wife Colleen of Acton, MA, his son Michael MacDonald and Kristen of Milford, NH, his brother Robert MacDonald of Pompano Beach, Florida, and his brother James MacDonald and his wife Ruth of Hebron, Maine.
Bill deeply loved his grandchildren Ryan and Bridget MacDonald of Acton, MA.
Family and friends are invited to gather for visiting hours on Tuesday, January 18, 2022, from 8:30 to 9:30 am at Acton Funeral Home, 470 Massachusetts Avenue, Acton, MA, before heading directly to the Church. Masks are required at both the funeral home and the Church.
Bill’s Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday, January 18, 2022, at 10:00 am in St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish 89 Arlington Street, Acton, MA. Burial will follow at Mount Hope Cemetery in Acton, MA. For those unable to come to the service or who wish to participate virtually, the Mass will be live-streamed through the Acton Funeral website.
In lieu of flowers, and as a way to honor his years of service to the church and community, we ask that donations be made in honor of William V. MacDonald, Jr. to Saint Elizabeth of Hungary Church, 89 Arlington Street, Acton, MA or online at St. Elizabeth of Hungary - My Offertory at the following link:
Memorial page actonfuneralhome.com