Passing of David Cameron Macleod

David Cameron Macleod (Lineage: A. Garrard Macleod 1898, George Duncan Macleod 1865, John McLeod 1807, Malcom Mcleod 1785, Malcom McLeod 1740) was the third of four sons born to A. Garrard and Margaret Macleod of New York, New York. The family moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1939 so his father could pursue an employment opportunity with the Upjohn Company.

David was very proud to be a student of West Main Elementary, Woodward Jr. High and Central High School in Kalamazoo. He attended Kalamazoo College and later graduated from the University of Michigan with both a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree. He was a loyal U of M fan who could boisterously sing the Michigan fight song on command.

At the University of Michigan, David experienced two life changing events. First, he became involved in the peace movement, presenting a student written proposal to Presidential Candidate John F. Kennedy that would later lead to the founding of the Peace Corps. He also met his wife-to-be, Mary Jane Moored at Follet’s Book Store.

Between terms at Kalamazoo College and the University of Michigan David served in a role as community ambassador for an exhibit entitled Kalamazoo and How it Grew, traveling around Britain with the exhibit. He would often talk wistfully of his time in Europe and always wanted to return.

David was very active with the formation of the Swords into Plowshares Peace Center at Western Michigan University, considering the founding of this institution as a fruition of a lifelong dream. Always a peace activist, David worked toward establishing a world both free of the threat of war and working in the direction of inclusiveness and justice for all.
Professionally, David started his work as “filthy MacNasty,” lightheartedly describing his time fueling the blast furnace at Buckley Steel as life changing. He recalled a conversation with the full-time fireman who encouraged him to attend college and study hard as a means of avoiding a career of such manual labor, a conversation David took very much to heart.

Upon graduation from the University of Michigan, David began work with the Kalamazoo City Planner’s office, moving from there to a teaching job at State College at Boston, in Boston Massachusetts. Later he moved to Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana where his children were both born. David’s career then took him to Marquette, Michigan to work at Northern Michigan University then to Escanaba, Michigan and Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan working with the Boy Scouts of America and as a Real Estate Agent. A lackluster economy in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan brought David and his family full circle to Kalamazoo where he worked as a Realtor before returning to academia at Nazareth College, Lake Michigan Community College and at Western Michigan University. Perhaps his most successful career path came when he developed MacHandyman, a handy-man service he and his wife Mary ran together until the end of his days actively working.

David’s lifelong loves included the outdoors, exercise, walking, running, writing, and “tinkering” with his 1926 Ford, a car he and his brother George bought as teenagers. David was a man with a profound sense of right and wrong and was never afraid to stand up when he sensed an act of wrongfulness or injustice. David seemed capable of fixing anything and everything. This included electrical equipment, snow shoes and relationships between people. He was once instrumental in determining his own medical diagnosis while lying in a hospital bed. As such he found Parkinson’s disease particularly perplexing as it seemed to be the one thing beyond his reason and understanding.

David Macleod leaves behind many friends and family who will miss him terribly. Survivors include his wife, Mary; son, Eric (Tara) Macleod and daughter, Laura (AJ) Vaughn. He is also survived by his brothers, Garrard (Moira) Macleod, Robert Macleod and George (Linda) Macleod. He has four grandchildren, Megan Vaughn, Devinn Hillman, Olivia Macleod and Amelia Macleod, and numerous nieces and nephews. David was preceded in death by his father A. Garrard Macleod and his mother Margaret Macleod.

From Laura Macleod Vaughn:

“My Dad wanted to take one more ride in his beloved 1926 Model T… unfortunately, he was too weak for us to get him in the car before he died.  My brother was able to get the car going the day of Dad’s Celebration of Life.  We placed Dad’s ashes in the passenger seat and Eric gave him a ride to his event where all his loves were there to celebrate this incredible man!  I captured the ride, which turned out to be very emotional. Dad has had this car since he was a teenager and many of our families special moments centered around this car.  Thank you, brother Eric for making this happen! Rest easy, sweet Dad!”

From Eric Macleod:

“One of my Dad’s final wishes was for just one more ride in his T, a car that had been part of his life since he was 15.  Unfortunately, he had deteriorated to a point where we just couldn’t get him in the car.  The ride was one small way to honor that wish.  I swear he was with me as I worked to start the car.”

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