MacDonald, Allan J., Keansburg

April 11, 2016
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Born October 3, 1924, Allan grew up on Parkside Place in Keansburg. Allan had a remarkable ability to remember people and the details of their lives. He was selfless in the sincerest way. Allan went through life with one simple credo – people are important and if you can’t say something nice about a person then just keep trying to find something to like. Well into his 80s he was driving people to Robert Wood Johnson for chemo treatments and delivering “Meals on Wheels.”

Allan was the second child of four boys and a girl. His brothers Jack (Fr. John), Tom and Gene, are deceased. His sister Joan MacDonald lives in Freehold. Allan was known by many people and for many different reasons; coach, humanitarian, colleague, tennis partner, mayor/freeholder, family patriarch, church leader, or client. Allan grew up on the clay courts owned by the Beacon Beach Bathing Club located off Port Monmouth Road in Keansburg. They were directly across the street from the current entrance to Keansburg high school. Allan must have loved St. Ann’s grammar school because in 1932 and 1935, the Red Bank Register reported that Allan had perfect attendance in second and fifth grade. He then went on to be a three sport star at his beloved Red Bank Catholic. He played tennis, baseball and basketball and graduated in 1942.

The war years came next. Allan joined the Air Force as a bombardier and, with his best friend Frank Piney, they successfully kept the Axis forces from sweeping into North Dakota. Their successful military campaign was followed by college. Al graduated from Seton Hall in 1950 as a business major. He was captain of the Pirates’ tennis team. Al was a very active member of the Seton Hall Alumni Association with his good friend Richard Ayres.

After college came marriage to Brenda McDonald. Brenda was also from Keansburg and a Red Bank Catholic graduate but they didn’t know each other until Brenda’s last years in college. After a brief career with a manufacturing company, Al landed a job with Metropolitan Life. After countless debit books notated for premiums collected and lots of people met, Allan retired from Met 37 years later. He then launched another 23- year career with the Monmouth County Jury office.

Brenda and Allan were deeply involved with the founding of St. Mary’s New Monmouth school with a freshly ordained priest from South Amboy, Father Bulman, who later became Msgr. Bulman. The first classes took place in Naughton’s barn across the highway from Port Monmouth school. Mr. MacDonald’s oldest son, who is one of the architects of the recent privatizing of the high school, Mater Dei Prep, was recently honored and gave credit to Allan as the inspiration for his son’s efforts for the Miracle at Mater Dei. Mr. MacDonald was a deeply religious man and his morning prayers sometimes required his family’s patience as he included not only the dearly departed but those who were sick or in need of special intentions. He was a member of many social and religious groups too numerous to list here.

Allan spent nearly a decade coaching RBC’s tennis team after college. He was a fixture at the clay courts in Marine Park helping Harold Potter to keep the courts well used and playable. He was very proud of some of his players’ lifetime accomplishments like Dennis Lynch and Peter Carton. Allan then spent the next 23 years coaching the St. Mary’s New Monmouth grammar school basketball team. They were top three in the league 22 of those 23 years, won a state championship, many league championships and more than their fair share of Casey tournaments. He also had the pleasure of coaching a few athletes who went on to become all-state players and even professional sports.

Allan did not believe in foul language unless Seton Hall basketball, Notre Dame football or the New York Yankees were losing. Then you might hear a “damn it.” Allan remained close with many of his high school friends. He spent many weekends in South Bend, Ind. with his RBC teammate Frank Eck. They followed the Fighting Irish football around the country and even to Ireland.

After many years of coaching, visiting people’s homes selling insurance, volunteering and being completely involved in life, Al became a Middletown Township committeeman. This also marked the next generational change from parent to grandparent. Allan leaves behind his most prized possessions; 15 grandchildren.

He went on to become Mayor Al and then Freeholder MacDonald. He ran on a platform of sports and community involvement. His first foray into politics was getting Poricy Park approved over some significant opposition. He also is credited with the many tennis and basketball courts that popped up all over Middletown to keep the idle children of Middletown healthy and better occupied during the tumultuous seventies. His good friend, Dr. John Carr, sold Croyden Hall in Leonardo to the Township. Mr. MacDonald also received a fair share of criticism for using green acre money to purchase from the Mercer family the Hominy Hill golf course.

The Iran hostage crisis and Jimmy Carter were the big news in 1980 and in a re-election year there was no beating Ronnie Regan and the Republicans in a Republican dominated county. Al was considering his options as Richard VanWagner’s seat became available. However, Allan had a hard time with politics as he didn’t like to disparage anyone. Allan always wanted to see the good in people and embarked on his next career working in administration for the Monmouth County Jury system. Al was known as the “Senator” to his friends in Freehold and his lunch time crowd at Old Silver restaurant. At the age of 81 Allan married Norma Wallman in 2005. Norma predeceased Allan five years later in June 2011. Allan then moved in with his daughter Tease (Mary Gould).

Allan is survived by his daughter, Tease or Mary (Harry Gould); his sons, Randy (Maureen) MacDonald, Jamie (Alicia) and Paul.

John F. Pfleger Funeral Home, Middletown, was in charge of arrangements. Memorial contributions in Allan’s name are requested to Mater Dei Prep School, 538 Church St., New Monmouth, NJ 07748.

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