Kenneth Ian Macdonald
March 28th, 1945 – March 6th, 2016
Ian Macdonald, songwriter and founding member of The Common Cup Company died on the evening of Sunday March 6th. He was surrounded by his loving family, who “sang him off to sleep”. A memorial page to Ian is being put together on this website and can be viewed here. The official obituary follows:
Kenneth Ian Macdonald—husband, father, brother, friend—lived his faith from the heart. Ian was born to Donald Bruce and Nancy Macdonald in Saskatoon on the earliest date in history that the ice broke up on the South Saskatchewan. He shared life with imaginary friend Spalder until brother Jim and sister Cathy arrived to provide real company. As a p.k., he lived his life in several cities across the country.
From his first ministry in Winnipeg onward, Ian saw the Church not as a building but as community for peace, social justice and love. An ordained minister, he retired from South Burnaby United Church in 2011; previously he had served in Winnipeg and Cartwright, Manitoba and across the country as part of the Common Cup Company.
Ian’s love of melody, words, God and people, along with his soaring imagination, lead him to a life of creativity, compassion and community. He embraced laughter as a way of revealing and embodying the deep truths of the heart and soul. He was a source of wisdom and fountain of silliness.
There is a Celtic tradition that creation is simply God’s laughter. When we laugh we move closer to God. Ian lived that truth.
In 2012, diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia, Ian wrote of his struggles with its effects: “Since the disease affects the ‘executive functions of the brain, I have difficulty making decisions. My family is afraid to leave me alone for any length of time for fear of decisions I might make.” But he went on, “I am learning to trust that every moment is a blessing, even these moments. Love abides. I confess to you my fears about the way ahead but know these must be faced. I believe that there is still more life to bear and appreciate, more love to share and to speak.”
Ian passed away on March 6th 2016 surrounded by Heather, sons, Jamie, Rory and Derek, and lilting song. He lived and loved well, and was much loved in return. In God’s good grace, love offers no farewells.
A memorial service has been held at South Burnaby United Church and another celebration of Ian’s life will be held in Winnipeg in early summer.
In lieu of flowers, should you wish to recognize Ian’s life, please do what you can share your gift of time or money to bring peace and justice to our world.
Download “Living Waters: Daily Reflections for Lent” by Ian Macdonald (2.1MB).