Kenneth James “KJ” McDonald, age 81, of Watertown, died Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012, at his home, with his loving family at his side.
He was born Nov. 28, 1930, in Watertown.
KJ was married to Barbara Kleschult McDonald for 54 years. Their union was blessed with nine children, two already in heaven; 11 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
KJ served God, family, community, and country for the past 60 years, in many ways. His decades of public service go far beyond the local community. Politically, he served as mayor of Watertown from 1976 to 1977. He served seven terms in the Minnesota House of Representatives, from 1977 to 1991. KJ then again served as mayor of Watertown from 2005 until the present.
KJ’s lifetime of service began as a photo intelligence specialist and combat aerial photographer in the US Air Force during the Korean War. He later made a career as a professional photographer, opening his own studio in Watertown.
He was a member of American Legion Post 121 for more than 50 years, serving as post adjutant, and organizing the city’s annual Memorial Day service for more than five decades. He was an active member of the Lions since 1973, and one of the charter members of the Tri-County Toastmasters, remaining a member for 41 years.
KJ was loved by many; His charming wit, enticing personality, and many jokes and stories made him unique. His ability to capture hundreds of family and community events through his photos and movies will provide lasting memories and be enjoyed by all.
He was preceded in death by his parents, KF and Margaret McDonald; and siblings Patsy, Ewen, Ed, Joe, Dorothy, and Flip.
KJ is survived by siblings Margaret, Sr. Rita, Sr. Kate, Sr. Bridget, and Sr. Jane; his wife, Barbara; children Mary (Leland), Anne, Frank (Jenny), Kenneth (Patricia), Joe (Rachel), Peter (Tracy), and Susan; grandchildren Luke, Molly, Melissa, Matthew, Andrew, Alex, Jacob, Aiden, Miranda, Morgan and Patriot; and great-grandchildren Olivia and Teagen.
Mass of Christian Burial took place Saturday, Oct. 13 at 11 a.m. at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Watertown.
Visitation was Friday, Oct. 12 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the church, and continued Saturday for one hour prior to the Mass.
Arrangements were by the Iten’s Watertown Funeral Home.