Thomas “Tommy” Owen McDonald Jr., 93, of Mooresville, N.C., passed away with his family by his side on Saturday, April 13, 2024, at Novant Health Huntersville Medical Center.

Tommy was born on September 4, 1930, in Missouri to the late Thomas and Irene Walsh McDonald and graduated from high school in Raymond, Mo. He was a U.S. Army veteran serving his country during the Korean War from 1951 to 1953, attaining the rank of Corporal. When he completed his time in the U.S. Army honorably, he went on to own and operate a sheet metal company in Flora, Miss. A mechanical engineer by trade and master welder, he was known to be able to design and construct just about anything a client could ask for and was highly sought after for his workmanship and creativity. As an avid antique car collector, he enjoyed going to car shows and working on his cars. In fact, it was at an antique car show where he met the love of his life Judy. Together, they became active members of The Automobile Club of Mississippi, and volunteered their time organizing several car shows across the state including at The Mississippi State Fair. Tommy also had a love for tinsmithing and would design traditional Early American style sconces, chandeliers and lanterns from tin, copper and brass for his sweetheart Judy to hang in the home and give to family and friends. He loved to make and design anything, which was a skill noticed by the late Agricultural Commissioner of Mississippi, Jim Buck Ross, who hired Tommy to work with him on projects at The Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Museum.

In 1988 Tommy was transferred by Ivey Mechanical to San Diego, Calif., to become the foreman in charge of building a new addition to Scripps Clinic Green Hospital at Torrey Pines in LaJolla, Calif. After completing his work at the hospital, he continued his career at Northstar Propeller as a private contractor with the U.S. Navy and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He utilized his skill as a mechanical engineer to improve the reliability of the Navy ships under his care and continue his dedication to his country. At the age of 74, he retired and spent the remainder of his life as a loving husband, patient father, and proud grandfather.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother-in-law, Jerry “Butch” Alkire, and his granddaughter, Delaney Rose DeCoste.

He is survived by his wife, Judy Alkire McDonald of Mooresville; sons, Frankie of Mooresville, N.C., and Mark and his wife Catherine of San Diego, Calif.; daughter Marti and her husband Stephen of Calabash, N.C.; and grandchildren, David, Tommy, and Joey.

A celebration of life service will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Disabled American Veterans, P.O. Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH 42250-0301.

Cavin-Cook Funeral Home & Crematory, Mooresville, is serving the McDonald family. Condolences may be made to the family at www.cavin-cook.com.

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