Obituary of John Lester MacDonell
John Lester MacDonell, 89, died peacefully on August 15, 2023, at Inverary Manor, Inverness, following a brief illness. The son of Archibald S. MacDonell and Mary Fitzgerald, he was born October 30, 1933 and raised on the family farm at Judique Intervale in Inverness County, Nova Scotia. The last living member of his immediate family, he was predeceased by his sister, Sister Ellen MacDonell, OSF, and his brothers Bernard, Leo A., and Laughlin. He is survived by his sister-in-law, Yvonne (Bourgeois) MacDonell, and numerous nieces and nephews.
John earned his Engineering Certificate from St. Francis Xavier University in 1956. He played varsity football at St.F.X., winning an Athletic ‘X’ in 1956. He also played interclass hockey and basketball, and was a member of the Engineering Society. He went on to graduate from Nova Scotia Technical College where he studied electrical engineering. He enjoyed a long career with Nova Scotia Power, where he worked from 1963 until he retired in 1991.
His early career included stints in Quebec around Sept-Îles, before returning to Nova Scotia to take over ownership of the farm at Judique Intervale in 1960, which by then had been in the family a hundred years. He lived on the farm alone following the deaths of his parents in the mid-1970s. At various times, he raised sheep and lambs and purebred beef cattle, and exhibited many prize-winning animals in agricultural fairs. He raised prizewinning harness racing horses and was a regular at the Inverness Raceway for many years.
He was a member of the original organizing committee and a longstanding member of the Judique Volunteer Fire Department, formed in 1968.
John L could be a hardheaded man with a penchant for diagnosing stupidity in others, according to his interpretation, but he also had a sense of humour, however wry, and in private moments could sometimes surprise you with the best and most tender qualities of a human being.
His remains have been cremated, in accordance with his wishes. Visitation will be held 6-9 p.m. Monday, in the Community Room of the Judique Fire Hall. Funeral mass 11 a.m. Tuesday in St. Andrew’s Parish Church, Judique, with Rev. Allan MacMillan officiating. Reception to follow. To protect the health of family members with chemical sensitivities, attendees must avoid wearing scents. Artificial flowers only, or in lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Celtic Music Interpretive Centre, https://www.celticmusiccentre.com/ the Judique Volunteer Fire Department, or a cause of your choice. Arrangements are under the care and direction of Dennis Haverstock Funeral Home, Port Hawkesbury. Words of comfort may be forwarded to the family at www.haverstocks.com