Mr. MacDonald, who died in September at age 98, had worked for over thirty years for the Veterans Administration. So, he did not get “rich” from the practice of law. Rather, he took his inheritance from money his parents made in their business, MacDonald Meat Company, and put it in the stock market.
He eschewed investment advice, instead relying on his own research in selecting stocks. He married once in his mid-50s, a widow with two grown children, and was a widower himself the last 15 years of his life.
During his life he made some very nice gifts to certain charities and to the village his paternal grandfather had lived, but the most was saved for last and the beneficiaries are the Seattle Children’s Research Institute, the University of Washington School of Law, and the Salvation Army.
The man who wore sweaters with holes in the elbows so that people would not think he had money, had a daily routine of working out early in the morning, going to the grocery store, and walking to his stockbroker to check on his accounts.
I always admire men like Jack MacDonald. In my estate planning practice, when I am initially meeting with the client, I listen to their “stories” because I love to learn what makes people tick and what they have done with their life.