N. Providence Army and National Guard veteran Joseph P. McDonald Sr. dies at 71


Sunday 12 December 2021

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Joseph P. “Joe Mac” McDonald, Sr., 71, of North Providence, passed away on December 10, 2021, peacefully in his home surrounded by his loving family.

Born in Providence, he was the son of the late Walter and Alice (Clarkin) McDonald of East Greenwich. He was the beloved husband of Deborah (Manzo) McDonald for 44 years and the father of Joseph Jr. Esq., Anthony, Esq., And Michael (fiance, Gianna Cavallaro) McDonald.

Joe was a proud graduate of East Greenwich High School 68 ‘and Bryant College 75’.

He served in the United States Army in Vietnam and was a decorated combat veteran who fought in 1969-71. Joe also served as a lieutenant in the National Guard. After his honorable release, he began his career as a diesel fitter at Macy’s department store. He then worked in RI Corrections and owned the Car Wash King in North Providence for many years. You can always count on Joe’s smiley face as you drive down Mineral Spring Avenue. Many went to the car wash just to share a laugh with him. He then worked in the security department at Providence College, where he was loved by all faculty and students.

Joe was an avid Providence College basketball fan and was voted PC Basketball Fan of the Year in 1987, along with his brother-in-law, Anthony Manzo. From 1984 to 1998, Joe and Anthony entertained crowds at Providence Civic Center as PC mascots, The Blues Brothers. Joe was not just an artist but a joker. He lit the room with his quick wit. He was often dressed in costume; posing most often as Michael Jackson, Santa Claus, Irish Golfer, Gorilla, Nerd, Penguin, Uncle Sam and Elvis. He was also a man of many joke gadgets. You can often find him pranking pranks with invisible ink, chewing gum, ice fly, motorized rats, the invisible dog, and farting machines. It is obvious that Joe loved an audience, whether it was a family reunion or a party with friends. Joe liked to play and make people laugh. The world was his stage.

Joe also had a sensitive side. He has volunteered for several non-profit organizations and nursing homes. He has dedicated part of his life to an organization close to his heart, Teen Challenge Rhode Island. Joe has done everything from helping out at events, bringing gifts as Santa Claus, or just stepping in to make residents smile.

He is survived by his brothers and sisters; Mary Alice Stasiuk (Paul), Sheila Dlugolecki (Christopher), Daniel (Diane), James, Jack (Susan), Timothy (Maura) and Michael (April) McDonald. He is also survived by three brothers-in-law, Pasco (MaryAnn), Anthony and Jeffrey (Janelle) Manzo, as well as several nieces and nephews.

Joe was an amazing man who touched everyone he met. Most notably, there was no one he loved and cherished more in this world than his wife and three children. He was certainly “UNIQUE” and will never be forgotten.

All are invited to attend a Celebration of Life on Monday, December 20, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. at Restoration Church, 244 Lexington Avenue, North Providence.

Visiting hours will be on Sunday December 19, 2021 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the Nardolillo Funeral Home, 1278, avenue du Parc, Cranston.

Masks will be compulsory.

In lieu of flowers and gifts, donations can be made to Rhode Island Teen Challenge, 572 Elmwood Avenue, Providence.


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