A Bayview Icon, Jim MacDonald passed away early this morning. Long time marina owner, he was once the mail boat postman, state legislator and community leader, and for many years owned and managed MacDonald's Resort now managed by his son, Gary.
During the 1950's and part of the 60's Jim ran the mail boat for 13 years, until the press of running the marina caused him to give up the job he loved.
Jim was opinionated and not everyone agreed with him all of the time, but everyone respected this gentleman of the old school. In recent years he was active to the extent that as of tomorrow, January as president of the Bayview Chamber, but he was perhaps most noted for lobbying the state to discontinue commercial harvests of Kokanee. He was one of the first to recognize that this landlocked salmon was being over fished and insisted the state do a study which resulted in the scaling down of the fishing. Unfortunately, too little, too late. Those of us that occasionally crossed swords with Jim did so with respect.
He did however, live to see the recovery of this valued specie to the extent that tomorrow, January first marks the reinstating of a limited fishery in Lake Pend Oreille after a closure of many years. After World War Two he served as the mailman for lake residents, greeting folks up the lake with his infectious grin.
During the last few years Jim was slowed way down but managed to put around in his golf cart when walking became too strenuous and kept up with the community up until the last. His retirement hobby was building bird houses in his wood working shop above the boat shop. There must be hundreds of these homes for wayward birds in the community as he never tired of producing them.
Regardless if you were a friend or not, Jim MacDonald was a giant in the community, fighting hard at times for the preservation of Scenic Bay and Lake Pend Oreille. He will be missed.
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