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Bryan Anthony McDonald

December 9, 1981 ~ August 9, 2018 (age 36)


Bryan Anthony McDonald, age 36, of Thief River Falls, MN, passed away on Thursday, August 9, 2018.

Greg and Sue McDonald got the best early Christmas gift ever, when Bryan was born on Dec. 9th, 1981 in Faribault, MN!  They moved to Duluth when he was six months.  He was a busy little guy in those early years!   He was his Dad’s shadow, following him around, fixing things and dressing up like a paramedic or fire fighter, just like Dad.   He loved to talk, had a high interest in trucks, boats and anything with parts that could be taken apart and built, and, especially LOVED to build with Legos!  His affinity for mechanics never waned. 

When he graduated from East High School in 2000, he studied at Universal Technical Institute in Chicago for two years, followed by the Audi Academy in Milwaukee.

After graduating, he worked for Audi/Volkswagen in Michigan as a quality control engineer in the corporate offices.   He moved with them to Iowa, followed by New Jersey, where he also took courses at Rutger’s University for certifications needed to further his career.

Deciding that he wanted to live closer to family and better be able to participate in all the activities that he loved so much, especially in Walker, MN, he left Volkswagen and moved to Duluth, working as a HVAC technician at MMT Heating, until he found a job as a quality control engineer at Arctic Cat (Textron) in Thief River Falls, MN.  While in Duluth, he forged a relationship with Kelly and her three children, who became a huge part of the fabric of his life.

Bryan had a zest for life, fun and people!  He was gregarious with a big personality, accepted people for who they were and loved being with them.  He was in his glory, cooking, entertaining and telling stories.  He was a planner and an organizer and would whip up a detailed itinerary for a travel plan, social gathering, or website in a heart-beat.

He had MANY hobbies, including fishing, hunting, off-road riding and snowmobiling.   Bryan also had a creative spirit coupled with an ingenious mind and could create intricate technical designs.  He liked sharing his hobbies with the people around him and had been looking forward to some Lake Superior fishing in the next weeks with family and friends.

Generous with his time, talents and resources, he gave to the end as an organ donor.  He was always thinking of others and was there to help.  He gave endlessly to the three children in his life, as though they were his own…nurturing, listening and supporting them emotionally, financially, and encouraging their many and varied athletic interests; He loved them with all his heart.

Bryan is survived by his parents, Greg and Sue McDonald of Duluth, MN; sister, Megan (Jonathan) Kukier of Hood River, OR; Grandmother, Alice McDonald of Walker, MN; Partner, Kelly Thompson of Duluth and her children, Noah, Sierra and Ethan Hayden, as well as aunts, uncles and cousins.  He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Joel McDonald and Ralph and Thora Lou Doblar.

We may never understand your leaving, but, have been so lucky to have you in our lives.  We will miss your warm teddy bear hugs, sense of humor, and kind and giving spirit.  You are loved forever and ever, and will be missed so deeply by so many.

Visitation: 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 16, 2018 at Northern Peace Funeral Home, Walker, MN

Service: 2:00, followed by a light lunch.

Internment:  Evergreen Cemetery, Walker, MN

Memorials may be sent to: "BAM Youth Education memorial Fund"

C/O Timberland Dirt Devils ATV Club, Inc.

PO Box 56 Akeley, MN  56433

Arrangements entrusted with Northern Peace Funeral Home of Walker, MN

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Bryan Anthony McDonald, please visit our floral store.


August 16, 2018

1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Northern Peace Funeral Home
114 Tianna Drive
Walker, Minnesota 56484

Funeral Service
August 16, 2018

2:00 PM
Northern Peace Funeral Home
114 Tianna Drive
Walker, Minnesota 56484

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