OBITUARY: Roy Stephen McDonald, 66

BURLINGTON, MA — Roy Stephen McDonald passed away at Massachusetts General Hospital after a courageous yearlong battle with cancer on Friday afternoon, March 20, 2020.  He was 66 years old.

Roy was born in Everett.  He was one of three children born to Edith (Pinkham) and Roy James McDonald.  He grew up in Somerville and was a 1972 graduate of Somerville Trade School.  Somerville always held a special place in his heart throughout his life.  He was an active member of the Somerville City Club along with his father.  He and his family loved participating in the socials, family activities, and charitable events there.

Roy worked for Polaroid for over 25 years.  He worked in many positions in the company, spending the latter years working at the data center in Waltham and as an IM consultant in Cambridge.  Polaroid was like an extended family where coworkers spent their entire career together at the company.  It is there where he met his wife, Kelly, while she was working at Polaroid.  After marrying, they settled in Wilmington and raised their family there.

After Polaroid declined, Roy went to work as a manager of the Owl Club in Cambridge.  The club is a private social club for Harvard Alumni that has had many notable members throughout its history.  He always had a very strong work ethic, rarely missing a day of work even during his intensive cancer treatments.

Roy was the type of person that made everyone feel special and loved.  He was the loving husband to his wife Kelly for over 25 years.  They made a wonderful team.  They enjoyed time spent with family and friends as well as their special time together.  He would do anything for his children and grandchildren.  He would be seen cheering in the stands or sidelines as they competed in basketball, soccer, gymnastics, and swimming events.  He went to their dance recitals and school shows as well.  He was there to encourage them in school, in their life decisions, share in their victories, and commiserate in their missteps.  He was always very protective of his family as well.  He especially loved taking family vacations to Disney World, Rockport, The Beacon and Indian Head in New Hampshire, and countless other destinations.  He loved being at the ocean and a trip to Kelly’s at Revere Beach in the winter was not unheard of.

Roy loved to entertain, spend time with family and friends, and make people laugh and smile.  He hosted many great parties, including his annual Fourth of July celebration in Wilmington.  He would be up before daybreak organizing the event, setting up the yard, preparing the food, and spent much of the event at the grill working his magic.  He got everyone involved, interacting, and having fun.  Roy enjoyed a good game of   cornhole and Kan Jam with the family at every cookout.  These special memories will always evoke a smile from those who knew and loved him.

Roy was always optimistic, positive, and upbeat even throughout his battle with cancer.  He worried more about his family and kept most of his pain to himself.  Since his diagnosis, he would leave an encouraging note for his family every day before leaving for work on a scrap of paper.  “Keep smiling” or “We will get through this” would always be the message.    That was his way… worrying more about others, shielding his family, and letting them know he loved them.  His spirit will continue to live on in the hearts and minds of his family and friends.

Roy was the affectionate and devoted husband of Kelly (Myles) McDonald. He was the loving father of Amy Magee & her husband Daniel of Medford, Roy James McDonald & his wife Jessica of Wilmington, Stephen McDonald of Wilmington, and Kaitlyn McDonald of Methuen. He was the proud “Grandpa” of Cameron Magee, Charlotte McDonald, and Abigail Magee. He was the caring brother-in-law of Kim Myles and loving uncle of Kristine Myles both of Woburn.   He was also the brother of Mary Daddio and John McDonald, both of Somerville.

Due to the coronavirus restrictions, funeral services will be private with a graveside service at Wildwood Cemetery in Wilmington.  A celebration of Roy’s life for family and friends will be announced at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Roy’s memory may be made to the ACPMP/Appendix Cancer Research Foundation (

Roy Stephen McDonald
Roy Stephen McDonald

(NOTE: The above obituary is from Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home.)

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