Patrick McDonald, 50

Painter and sculptor

Opinion: Obituaries

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Pat McDonald, 50, of Oak Park, died on July 17, 2015. Born on May 18, 1965 in Watertown, Minnesota to Philip (Flip) and Abigail (Abbie) McDonald, he was a devoted father, husband, wrestling supporter, and passionate artist and sculptor. He graduated from St. Cloud State University with a Bachelor in Fine Arts and completed his Master of Fine Arts degree at Northern Illinois University in painting. He developed an interest in making large-scale sculpture, and the direction of his work was strongly influenced by family and friends. His most recent work was created with concrete and steel with pieces ranging in weight from 1 to 35 tons. 

His current local sculpture installations can be seen at Harlem and Ontario in Oak Park, Skokie Sculpture Park in Skokie, and in Chicago's Lincoln Park. His Oak Park studio was a place of experimentation, and his studio in Watertown was the place his large scale work was fabricated. From one or both of these studios, he was always working on several new pieces for a number of exhibitions in the Midwest and on the East Coast. 

"If it wasn't fun," he would say, "I would not do it!" 

Patrick McDonald is survived by his wife, Therese (Terri) McKinzie; his son, Vincent; his mother; his siblings, William (Lis), Theresa Sullivan (William), Timothy, and Colleen Score (Aaron); and multiple nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his father and his brother, Brian. 

A Mass of Christian Burial was held on July 23, 2015 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Watertown, and he was laid to rest at Immaculate Conception Cemetery. 

A local memorial gathering will be held on Friday, July 31 at 11 a.m. at Ascension Church's Pine Room, 601 Van Buren St. in Oak Park. 

In lieu of flowers, donations are appreciated to, Little Huskies Wrestling at www.littlehuskieswrestling.org or to the Walter Payton Liver Center at www.walterpaytonlivercenter.org or to Gift of Hope at www.giftofhope.org/about/monetary_donation.htm.

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Jodi Birdwell from Urbana  

Posted: August 10th, 2015 6:06 PM

My heart is so heavy. Pat made some great sculptures for our campus at Lake Land College. He was a big heart and full of life. We will always enjoy these pieces and send love to Pat's wife and son. I am extremely sorry for your loss. Know that I will be sending you thoughts and prayers consistently, throughout our lives.

Tyler Schofield  

Posted: July 29th, 2015 9:04 PM

Terry and Vince, I'm so sorry for your loss. I grew up just a few houses down the alley from Pat. I remember seeing that garage being built when Pat first moved in; we had no idea what kind of character we were about to meet. Pat gave me my first job, helping move another sculptor to a new studio, as well as my second, third, fourth, and fifth jobs. I loved working with him, seeing the photographs of what he'd built and his designs on his next project, feeling like I was a part of the awesome things he was building. I was never much of an artist, so I asked him once, when we were driving somewhere in his truck, where he got his inspiration for his work. He said, "I just build stuff that looks cool." I love taking my friends by his sculpture at Ontario and Harlem and telling them that story. I remember walking down Gunderson and seeing mockups of his works out on folks' front lawns, I remember hearing him laugh in his studio when I was in my back yard a block away. He was as much a part of our neighborhood as the smell of Turano bread and the American music festival at Fitzgerald's. I'll miss Pat, the neighborhood won't be the same without him.

Nick Sakellaris from Oak Park  

Posted: July 29th, 2015 2:49 PM

Pat was a great dad to Vincent and a great supporter of Irving School. Terri and Pat were so supportive of Vincent at school and of the teachers he had. Pat used to always speak at Career Day at Irving and it was the highlight of the day always. I will miss Pat very much and so will the Irving Community!!

Allyson Thomson Olsen from Oak Park, IL  

Posted: July 29th, 2015 2:39 PM

Pat was an outstanding neighbor and he will be sorely missed for a long time to come. And he was my friend. R.I.P, Pat. God's speed. Condolences to Terri and Vince. You are surrounded by supportive neighbors.

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