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HAMILTON — Alexander J. McDonald, 84, of Hamilton, widower of Valerie McDonald, died on Sept. 5, 2018, at his home. He was born on Nov. 28, 1933 in Glendive, the son of Alexander and Lucy McDonald. Alex was raised and attended school in Glendive and Missoula.

A Missoula City Fireman for 24 years, his tenure culminated with the position of Battalion Chief. He was in the National Guard based at Fort Missoula for five years in field artillery. He served in the Army as a specialist in Fire Direction Control and was stationed in New Ulm, Germany.

His passion was wood carving. Alex was one of the original carvers of the Missoula Carousel and spent many hours creating the horses that are loved by all. He has many more carvings placed in locations across the state including a life-sized tiger and contributed to the forest ranger at the airport. Each grandchild and many other family members and friends are the proud owners of Alex’s handmade violins.

In 1953 he married Mary Strong. They had two daughters, Elizabeth and Belinda. Alex and Mary were later divorced.

In 1983 he married Valerie Fried. Valerie preceded him in death in 2016.

He is survived by his daughters, Elizabeth and Belinda (Sam); step-children, Melissa (Keith), Chris (Yasuko), Terry (Rhonda), Laura (Richard); his sisters; Helen Pickering of Spokane, Washington, Patricia Donlin (Don) of Port Angeles, Washington, Jo Daniels (Ken) of Polson; 24 grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren; several nieces and nephews and six cousins.

Alex spent his days serving his community and his country, caring for his beloved wife, Val, carving, playing the harmonica and violin. He was generous with his time and resources and listened attentively to others. He will be remembered forever as a devoted father, grandfather and friend to many. Serenely reticent and inherently humble, Alex expressed himself best through his creativity.

A special thank you to all the family and friends for their love and support. We also wish to express gratitude to the numerous health care professionals for their compassionate care.

Interment will take place at the Western Montana Veterans Cemetery on Tower Street in Missoula on Friday, Sept. 28th at 3 p.m. with a celebration of life to follow at the Missoula Carousel from 6 to 7 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made in Alex’s memory to Carousel for Missoula. Condolences may be left for the family at dalyleachchapel.com

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