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Harry Burt McDonald

July 14, 1931 ~ April 17, 2017 (age 85)

Harry Burt McDonald

Age: 85 • Burlington

Harry Burt McDonald, age 85 of Burlington Vermont passed away Monday, April 17, 2017 at the University of Vermont Medical Center in the presence of his loving and devoted family. He was born in Plainfield, Vermont on July 14, 1931, the son of Ernest Robert McDonald, Senior and Bess Batchelder McDonald. He graduated from Plainfield High School. A veteran of the Korea War, Harry was stationed on Guam with the U.S. Air Force. A Mason since 1955, he was a member of the Scottish Rite. Harry enjoyed a long and distinguished career as a U.S. Marshal for 20 years until his retirement, as Inspector, at age 55. He had a role in the creation of the Federal Witness Protection Program and led task forces against organized crime. Among his cases were assignments for protection of judges and federal witnesses. He protected world famous boxer Muhammad Ali and visiting dignitaries including Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev during the Cold War. He served at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, the site of the nation's longest civil disobedience demonstration. Besides serving in Vermont, Harry McDonald was assigned for years to the service's Special Operations Group, an elite group of deputies, selected for major national cases by headquarters in Washington, D.C. His career with the Marshals Service saw him travel over much of the contiguous 48 U.S. states which gave him the capacity to memorize road maps. He could tell you how to get from here to there most anywhere in most any state. Prior to his years as a U.S. Marshal, Harry McDonald served for 12 years with the Vermont State Police in Windham, Windsor, Bennington, Franklin and Grand Isle counties. He was also a former assistant chief of the Burlington Fire Department Auxiliary, where he served for 16 years. Following retirement from the U.S. Marshals Service, Harry was Director of Security at Shelburne Museum. In this capacity he updated security at the museum and even escorted priceless works of art to and from famous museums overseas. Interestingly, his high school prom was onboard the Ticonderoga when it was still an active vessel. After leaving the museum he worked part time at Home Depot where he became one of their top-selling grill salesmen in the country. He would draw in customers with the sweet, savory smells of his grilling on weekends. A Vermonter to the core, Harry loved the great outdoors, especially hunting and fishing. His mountain-top property brought him great joy to his spirit and solace for his soul. He especially liked to gaze upward through the snow-covered branches and watch as the ravens rode the air currents ever higher. His youthful summers on Peacham Pond filled him with a lifetime of happy memories. Harry married the love of his life Martha Culver in 1957. Together they raised three children; Jonathan, Scott and Johanna (Jodi). Harry and Martha are survived by their children along with their spouses; Susan McDonald, Jennifer McDonald and Craig King along with eight grandchildren; Emily, Molly, Justin and Ian McDonald of Georgia, Vermont; Cara and Serena McDonald of Laytonsville, Maryland; and Austin and Taylor King of South Burlington, Vermont; also, beloved nieces, nephews and cousins of the McDonald clan. Harry was predeceased by his wife Martha, his twin brother Hugh who died in childhood, his brother Robert McDonald, Junior and his sister Blanche Whalen.

 Service Information

Visiting hours
April 23, 2017

2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Corbin & Palmer Funeral Home
9 Pleasant Street
Essex, VT 05452

Graveside service
April 24, 2017

11:00 AM
Lakeview Cemetery
455 North Avenue
Burlington, VT 05401

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