An Obituary: Joel G. MacDonald

October 16, 2023

Joel Gregory MacDonald passed away, joining his beloved wife Barbara on Oct. 11, 2023. 

Born in Sydney, Nova Scotia on June 17, 1947, Joel spent his first five years as the adored grandson of Maie and Roy Chappel before moving with his parents and siblings to the United States.

After graduating from Matignon High School in 1965, Joel returned to Canada for college, taking a short detour in 1966 where on Sept. 17, he acted as wingman for his best friend at a Boston University dance and met the love of his life, Barbara (Field) MacDonald. They married in 1970 and raised their only child, Heather MacDonald of Bedford, in a household filled with laughter and love.

Joel received a law degree from the Dalhousie Law School in Halifax, Nova Scotia and a Master of Ocean and Coastal Law from the University of Miami. Joel worked as an attorney for N.O.A.A for 30 years, retiring as the General Counsel for the Northeast Region.

Joel was an avid cyclist, biking more than 200,000 miles in 35 years.

Joel G. MacDonald

In addition to his loving daughter Heather MacDonald, Joel is survived by his brothers Shane, Thare, Seth, and Ian MacDonald and sisters Denise MacDonald, Patrice Barklund, and Lisa Ontiveras along with several nieces and nephews, and many, many wonderful friends.

Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 19 at the Bedford Funeral Home, 167 Great Rd., Bedford.

A funeral service will be held at the funeral home at 10 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 20.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Cancer Society, 125 S. Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 02130.

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