By Kathianne Boniello
Longtime Douglaston volunteer and Flushing resident Jim MacDonald, who had a soft spot for animals and donated his bookkeeping skills to the Alley Pond Environmental Center for nearly 20 years, died Friday. He was 89.
MacDonald was widely recognized for his two decades of service to APEC, and in November 1999 was awarded a medal for Outstanding Achievement by state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose).
In a 1999 TimesLedger interview, MacDonald said his personal philosophy was “not to worry to much. Take it one day at a time.
“I always felt it didn’t hurt to have a sense of humor,” he said at the time.
Irene Scheid, director of APEC, said MacDonald’s absence would be strongly felt at the center.
“We miss him desperately here at APEC,” she said. “The kind of volunteer who comes in five days a week for four hours a day is hard to come by.”
The active senior citizen began volunteering at APEC in 1981, after visiting the center to pick up some birdseed. MacDonald contributed his time by keeping records and collecting fees from the various classes and groups that visit the Environmental Center.
A Massachusetts native who began feeding local animals in his backyard since his childhood in Brookline, MacDonald first came to Queens via Fort Totten and the Army in 1940.
Joining the Army proved to be a fateful decision for MacDonald, because it was at a United Service Organization across the street from Flushing High School that he met his wife, Dorothy.
After leaving the Army, MacDonald spent the next 30 years working for Union Carbide, in the midtown-Manhattan chemical company’s accounts receivable department.
While there, MacDonald also put in about 15 years working in the evenings at an afternoon recreation program at PS 107 in Flushing.
The city-funded recreation program, he said, featured three basketball leagues for different ages and a billiards tournament.
MacDonald is survived by his wife, Dorothy, and three children. In lieu of flowers, please send contributions in his name or cards for the family to APEC, 228-06 Northern Blvd., Douglaston, NY 11363.
Reach reporter Kathianne Boniello by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 146.