Southern Indiana Living

MAY-JUN 2018

Southern Indiana Living magazine is the exclusive publication of the region, offering readers a wide range of coverage on the people, places and events that make our area unlike any other. In SIL readers will find beautiful photography, encouraging s

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May/June 2018 • 15 by Bill, pulling a little red wagon filled with David, building supplies, food and water. The youngsters spent a great deal of time working on what turned out to be a satisfactory structure. "The remains are still there," said Jim. Bob recalled the youngsters' egg business. "Bill always thought big," he said. "At one time we had chickens and sold eggs. Bill called it McDonald Poultry Incorporated before he even knew what 'incorporated' meant. He wanted it to sound important. What it amounted to was the preacher's kids selling eggs in the back of the car at church." At one time, Bill went into the straw- berry business. He planted a quarter-acre of berries and hired Bob and Susan to pick them. The whole family actually got involved. Barbara remembers a Sunday morning when the family got up early enough to pick 21 gallons of strawberries to take to morning service at Milltown Christian Church, where Jim was minister. Bill also brought leadership skills to Lindsay's side of the family, said her sister, Leigha Becht, a teacher at Throop Elemen- tary School in Paoli. "We had a family va- cation planned in June and Bill had made all the arrangements. He was so excited to be going. "Bill was a voice on the school board for both teachers and students; he really had the school at heart. People may not have always agreed with his decisions, but they never doubted his integrity. That is huge. I am proud to be his sister-in-law." "And he was always ready to help my kids." Leigha's daughter Alleigh Becht said she could go to her Uncle Bill for anything — and often did. "He would drop what- ever he was doing to help," she said. Al- leigh had planned to ask her uncle to offi- ciate at her wedding set for next summer. "Now I won't have that opportunity." Bill's birth mother died of cancer when he was 7 and Susan and Bob were 5 and 3, respectively. Jim and Barbara, both teachers, were married some time later and David was born after that. Dr. Bill loved the farm where he and his siblings were raised, his dad said. "He felt a real connection to the land and the community. When he was at Purdue, there was never any doubt that he would come back here." That connection is evident through- out the family. The four McDonald chil- dren were raised in the two-story farm- house where Jim and Barbara live. It was built by Jim's great-grandfather's grand- father in the 1850s and contains a number of family heirlooms. Bob and Susan and their families have homes nearby; Bob lives in the house where his father was born. "Now there are 10 grandchildren," Barbara said, "And they all love the farm." Because of his work as a financial adviser, David and his family live in No- blesville, Indiana, but his four children spend as much time on the farm as pos- sible, Barbara said. "All the kids loved to play with Bill," she added, "and he was never happier than when he was playing with them." Bill enjoyed the family gatherings at his parents' home. "He was always laugh- ing and smiling," Barbara said. "You knew he was there when you heard his laugh. "He could always assess a problem, no matter how big, see what was needed to solve it and take care of it," she contin- ued, "but no task was beneath him. He

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