Obituary of Creighton ‘Mac’ MacDonald, 70
Creighton ‘Mac’ MacDonald – July 27, 1950 – June 2, 2021
–Creighton ‘Mac’ MacDonald passed away peacefully on June 2 after a lengthy illness with his wife Nancy by his side.
Mac was born on July 27, 1950, in Salt Lake City and moved to Southern California at a young age. He was a mean tennis player in his youth and started college at UCLA studying liberal arts. Just picture Mac in a behavioral psychology class and you will understand how he soon changed course and graduated with a degree in agriculture, metals, and construction technology from the College of the Redwoods. Much better choice and his career took off fabricating and repairing equipment in the lumber, construction, and wine industries of Mendocino and Humboldt Counties.
Mac was drawn to Paso Robles in 1975 by his close friends Dr. Stanley and Terry Hoffman and their sons, David and Michael. The Hoffmans were starting to build their HMR winery and Mac’s expertise fit the bill perfectly. He treasured the seven years spent with the Hoffmans working in both the vineyards and the winery. Mac often commented that the exposure to fine wines during meals with the family and the association with their consultant, Andre Tchelistcheff, were the defining factors that piqued his lifelong interest in the wine industry.
With the sale of HMR in 1982, Mac ran his own business for the next six years. He specialized in vineyard layout and installation, trellis design and construction, welding, fencing, and harvest logistics.
In 1988, good friend Jim Smoot introduced Mac to Jerry Lohr who was intent on both growing and making red wine in Paso Robles. Mac’s career never looked back. For the next nearly thirty years, Mac would hold such titles as general manager, operations manager, construction manager, director of production and facilities for the likes of J. Lohr Vineyards and Wines, Robert Hall Winery, Nic Pokrajac Construction, Vina Robles, and Hope Family Wines. Mac’s commitment to the Paso Robles wine industry also included community service. He was president of the Paso Robles Grape Growers Association and a founding board member of the Paso Robles Vintners and Growers Association. He served as an alternate district director on the California Wine Institute and an appointee to the Ag Liaison Advisory Committee. For these contributions, Mac was recognized as the 1993 Grape Grower of the Year.
Always an animal enthusiast, Mac was active in the equine industry, breeding and raising champion quarter horses. He served on the SLO Quarter Horse Association board for several years. But his true loves were his dogs, the ‘clowns’ of the dog kingdom, his English Bull Terriers.
At the time of his death, Mac was still active in the wine industry working for BCT Solutions. He found great pleasure in meeting and working with the next generation of enthusiastic young winemakers.
Mac is survived by his wife of 38 years, Nancy Walston MacDonald, his brother Morgan (Melissa), niece Meghan and nephew Maximilian. He is preceded in death by his father Charles, mother Helen and son, Jeremiah Dylan.
In lieu of flowers a donation to the Woods Humane Society in Mac’s name would be greatly appreciated.
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