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Brigadier General (ret’d) Donald Iain Fraser Mackay

April 1, 1939 ~ February 5, 2024 (age 84) 84 Years Old

Brigadier General (ret’d) Mackay Obituary

We are saddened to share that DIF Mackay slipped away from this mortal coil on Monday, February 5, 2024, at Sechelt Hospital on British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast.   His children and grandson were by his side.   Donald was predeceased by his father Donald Hugh James, mother Jessie Marguerite and his wife and the great love of his life, Marjorie Anne Mackay (nee MacIntyre) in 2013.  He leaves behind and will be dearly missed by his son Andrew, daughter Karen (Adam French), and cherished grandchildren Sarah, Michael, and Daniel.  He is also survived by his sister Patricia (Harry Corrigan), nephew Niall Aonghas in Scotland and his many brothers and sisters in-law, nieces and nephews in Nova Scotia and Alberta. 

A celebration of life will be held at Harmony Hall in Gibson’s, BC, on Monday, February 19th, 2024, at 10:30 am.  A family tribute to Donald and guest book can be found at  Interment of his ashes next to his beloved Marjorie and a funeral service will be held at The National Military Cemetery at Beechwood in Ottawa, ON, in the summer of 2024. 

Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, Donald spent his early years in Lossiemouth, before emigrating to Vancouver Island, Canada, with his mother and sister in 1956.   He enrolled in the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1956 where he trained as an Air Navigator.  His career with the RCAF spanned 38 years. He made many lifelong friendships which enriched his and Marjorie’s lives immeasurably.   

Highlights of Don’s (nickname Haggis) career included:  1958 - 414 All Weather Fighter Squadron in North Bay, ON; 1962 - Flight Commander 34 Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, Senneterre, QC; 1963 - NORAD Staff Officer Intelligence, Goose Bay, Labrador;  1964- 416 All Weather Fighter Squadron RCAF Station Chatham, NB; 1966 - Squadron Leader and Commanding Officer of the Canadian Forces Recruiting Centre, St. John’s , NL; 1973 -United States Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Montgomery, Alabama; 1974 - Commanding Officer, 410 All Weather Fighter Operational Training Squadron, Bagotville, QC (first Navigator to command a fighter squadron in Air Force history); 1976-81 NDHQ in Ottawa; 1982 - student at the National Defence College(NDC) in Kingston ON; 1989 - Deputy Commander Fighter Group, CFB North Bay, ON.  

He earned a BA in Economics from Memorial University of Newfoundland and an MBA from Auburn University in Alabama.  He often said his richest educational experience was the year he spent at NDC in Kingston travelling around the world and making many close and cherished friends. 

Don met Marjorie in Goose Bay, Labrador. They were married in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia on Halloween, 1964. They thoroughly enjoyed their time traveling and living on various Air Force bases in North America with the RCAF, forging many lifelong and enduring friendships.  

Don retired from the Air Force in 1994.  He and Marjorie moved to Gibsons, BC, in 2000 to be close to their daughter and much adored grandchildren.  Grandpa provided unfailing wisdom and guidance throughout their formative years and will be dearly missed. 

He will be fondly remembered by all who knew him well for his incredible wit, intelligence, and generous spirit.   We are grateful to have had you as a husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, friend, and mentor.   

Per Ardua, Ad Astra

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the BC Cancer Agency or the  Ottawa Heart Institute in Dad’s name.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Brigadier General (ret’d) Donald Iain Fraser Mackay, please visit our floral store.

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Memorial Gathering
February 19, 2024

10:30 AM
Harmony Hall, Harmony Lane


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