Leib McDonald, Balto. County school principal

December 28, 2008|By David Kohn

Leib McDonald, a former Baltimore County school principal who was a three-sport athlete at the University of Maryland, died of multiple myeloma Friday at his residence in Shrewsbury, Pa. He was 87.

Mr. McDonald was born in Maryland Line and grew up on a small family farm. After graduating from Sparks High School he went to the University of Maryland, where he played varsity basketball, soccer and baseball.

After graduating, he went to Midshipmen's School at Columbia University in New York, where he graduated as an ensign in November 1943. Mr. McDonald was assigned to the Navy's Landing Craft Infantry and served aboard a ship that took troops into the Normandy invasion. During the invasion he saved a Royal Navy seaman from drowning. He later commanded his own ship, an LST, and transported prisoners the United States had captured back to Japan.

After being honorably discharged from the Navy in May 1946, he played baseball for the Southern League in southern Pennsylvania.

He also took a teaching job at Sparks High School, where he taught agriculture and physical education. He coached several school athletic teams.

In 1952, Mr. McDonald moved to the new Hereford Junior and Senior High School. Six years later, he became vice principal of Parkville Senior High School. In 1961, he was named principal of Hereford Junior and Senior High.

Four years later, he became principal of Dundalk Senior High School.

"He always enjoyed his students," said his son John McDonald of Washington. "He thought education was very rewarding."

Mr. McDonald retired from Dundalk High in 1982. He then became a director of Sparks State Bank, a position he held until 1997.

He was active with the Boy Scouts of America and was an excellent golfer who once shot a hole-in-one. He was also an avid amateur photographer, and he particularly enjoyed shooting landscapes.

Mr. McDonald, who lived most of his adult life in Sparks, moved to Shrewsbury in 2006.

He was a 60-year member of St. James Episcopal Church on My Lady's Manor, 3100 Monkton Road, in Monkton, where a funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday. Interment in the church cemetery will follow the service.

In addition to his son, Mr. McDonald is survived by his wife of 60 years, Carlyn Lowe McDonald of Shrewsbury; another son, James Norris McDonald of Timonium; and a sister, Helen Diehl of Felton, Pa.

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