Jim McDonald

October 26, 1937 – December 31, 2013


McDonald, Jim

McDonald passed away quickly on the last day of 2013 to begin the new year and all of eternity in the hands of his Lord and savior Jesus Christ.  Jim was born on October 26, 1937 in his grandparent’s home in Lonoke, Arkansas to Burney & Mae McDonald.  He graduated from North Little Rock High School in 1955 and left the next day for basic training in the Air National Guard. He returned 3 months later and began working for Union National Bank in Little Rock at age 17. The business of banking was a natural fit and he continued his education by graduating from the LSU School of Banking. With the exception of a short stint in the retail clothing business, this began a long career in banking that sustained him until his death.

In 1991 Jim and his wife, Janet, moved to Muskogee and then to Edmond, Oklahoma to pursue his opportunities in banking. His final days being spent as an employee with the Kirkpatrick Bank Family.  Oklahoma embraced Jim and Janet and it quickly became home as they became involved in the warmth of the Edmond community and their church home. Jim loved Sooner football and Thunder basketball and you could always expect Sports Animal to be playing on his car radio. He enjoyed reading, being the garden preparer for his and Janet’s garden and being at home where they enjoyed preparing meals together and taking care of his beloved schnauzer, Gracie. Traveling by way of cruising was his favorite way to vacation. Jim was a true gentlemen in every since of the word whose charm and demeanor was a profound influence on many persons of all ages. Known as “PaPa” to his grandchildren he especially loved preparing his special “PaPa” breakfast for them.

He was an active member of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Edmond. Jim’s faith sustained him in ways that anyone that knew him could feel it. Over the years he served in many capacities within the church from Sunday school teacher, acolyte master, youth leader, reader, and chalice bearer.

He is survived by his wife Janet. His sister, Joy Skarda of Little Rock, AR. His Father In Law, Fred Cooley and wife Margaret of DeBary, FL His children Jim McDonald, Jr. and wife Carole of Little Rock, AR; Shannon Grimmett and husband Chris of North Little Rock, AR; Michael McDonald and wife Micah of Blue Lake, CA; his grandchildren Lucas, Day, Landon, Heather, Chloe, Keaton, Paxton, Phoenix, Jodi & Taylor, a whole host of nieces, nephews and, his schnauzer, Gracie.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday, January 7 at 6:30 p.m. at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 325 E. 1st Street, Edmond. A reception will follow. The family request that in lieu of flowers that memorial contributions be made to the Jim McDonald Memorial Fund at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Edmond.


  1. I was saddened to hear that Jimmy Joe has passed away. We were neighbors in Levy when I was very young. He was four months older than I and his name was the only one I remembered from Levy. I moved to McRae School District and didn’t know him again until Jr. High. The last time I saw him was at our 50th Class reunion. He was always a an exceptionally nice person. I was surprised to hear that he lived in Oklahoma as I do. I want to express my sincere condolences to his family.

    Virginia Henry

    • Virginia,
      Thank you so much for your words. It is still a shock that this happened. I appreciate your reaching out with such kindness.
      Thanks again,
      Janet McDonald

  2. Sissy-
    I am so sorry about Jim. You are right about him being a true gentleman in every sense of the word. I will always have fond memories of his kindness and graciousness and you are heavy on my mind during this difficult time. Prayers for you and Jim and all who loved him. You were a beautiful couple and I’ve missed seeing you.

    Kati Schmidt

    • Hi Sissy,
      Yes, it is still a real shock and I am thinking he will come through the door any moment. Hopefully, I will see you soon. You know Wanda is living next door to me now!!

  3. Janet, we are so sad to learn of Jim’s passing….we go back a long ways, and although we have not been in contact in recent years, he still had a special place in our hearts, as you do too…as a member of our wedding and a god-father to our middle son, we have many memories…Yes, he was a true gentleman, and will be greatly missed. Thinking about you and all the family in this most difficult time. Joe and Julie

    • Joe & Julie,
      It was so good to hear from you. Yes, I remember your close connection with Jim and, of course, remember you and your children well. I appreciate all the kind words – this is still a big shock to me. But, we had a great support system here and I am leaning on them. Thanks again,

  4. Dear Janet,

    I am so sorry for your loss. I always enjoyed seeing you at Chamber events back when and shopping at your Gourmet store. I know your Jim was a big supporter of your quest to be a business owner. God Bless you and your family at this difficult time.
    Ann Ditto

  5. Janet, so sorry to read about Jim in our L.R. Obituaries. Even though we haven’t seen you in years we will never forget the two of you and the great times we had in our business and personal lives. I was recently asking around to see if anyone knew where you were living and what you both were involved in. You both have always been the highest quality people and Jim was a standout gentleman. I know he is currently in God’s hands and probably has that unmatched smile that we all will miss. Know that you are in our thoughts and prayers during these difficult days. We would love to see you sometime when you are in the Rock.

    We love you both. Bill and Becky

    • Becky & Bill,
      I was so happy to hear from you!! How could I ever forget your friendship and how Jim actually called Bill to see if there was a policy against me dating a customer. So funny. We have had a great life these 30 years….how fast the years go. Of course, I was not ready at all for this as we thought we had many more years to go. It is still such a shock and I am not sure it is real as I think he will walk through the door any minute.
      Yes, I would love to see you when I am over that way. I would be great to see you all and get caught up.
      Love to you both,

  6. Janet,

    It was such a shock to see Jim’s Obituary in our paper. We are so sorry to hear of this. We both remember both of you fondly from years ago when you lived in Maumelle, and the times we would get together before and when we worked together.

    Our condolences to you and all the family.


    Janet and Merle

    • Janet & Merle,
      How wonderful to hear from you. Yes, I am still in shock and am sure I will be for a while. It was very sudden and unexpected. We have had a great life these 30 years. Maybe I can see you when I am in Little Rock next. Again, so great to hear from you.

  7. Dear Janet,

    Susan and I were shocked and deeply saddened by the news of Jim’s passing! I considered Jim more than a fellow member of St. Mary’s but a true friend, someone you enjoyed visiting with either after church or at one of your open houses while Susan shopped. He was a true gentleman and truly a NICE guy!
    Let us know if there is anything we can do at this time of great sorrow. We will keep both you in our prayers.

    Bob & Susan

  8. Jan.7, 2013

    Dear Janet & family members,

    Even tho we have never had the pleasure of meeting you personally, Jim was a dear friend of ours. In fact I (Bev) have known him for well over 50 yrs. He, along with others helped me in organizing what we called the Union Reunion yrs. ago. He was truly a fine, compassionate gentlemen all the days of our friendship. Even tho, we weren’t in close contact, the telephone was what kept us in touch. WE will miss him & our deepest sympathies go out to you & his children. Sorry we could not be there today but our heart will be praying for God’s comfort.
    Beverly & Jim

  9. Dear Janet,
    Just wanted to tell you that the celebration of Jim’s life was lovely. You and your family planned a wonderful tribute. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.

    May the passing of time work it’s magic and begin to heal your heart and bring you peace.

    Janet and Steve

  10. Janet and family, Jimmy Joe as we knew him was such a dear friend. He and I started at Levy School together, then to Fourth Street Jr High, and finally graduated from NLR Senior High.
    We lived less than a mile from each other and road the city bus to school in the Jr High years.
    We served together in the Air National Guard and I was able to see and talk to him on a regular basis until he got out of the guard.
    Alice did not know him until we asked him to be our best man for our wedding. I have a couple of really good pictures of him I would love for you to have if you would send me your address.
    We are so glad to know that he was a wonderful family man and knew our Lord and Saviour.
    Please know that you and your family are in our prayers.
    May the God of peace wrap you and yours in his loving arms and comfort you during this difficult time.

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