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Ian C. McDonald

February 20, 1939 - June 16, 2017

Visitation - Thursday

June 22, 2017
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Boulger Funeral Home & Celebration of Life Center, Fargo

Funeral Service - Thursday

June 22, 2017
- 2:00 PM

Boulger Funeral Home & Celebration of Life Center, Fargo


Boulger Funeral Home

Ian C. McDonald

February 20, 1939 - June 16, 2017


Ian C. McDonald, 78, Fargo passed away Friday, June 16, 2017 at Sanford Health, Fargo.

Ian Cameron Crawford McDonald was born February 20, 1939 in Flint, Michigan to Duncan and Anne (Crawford) McDonald. He graduated from Arlington High School in 1957 in Arlington, Texas. He earned his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees at Southern Methodist University. He received his PHD from Virginia Polytechnic Institute (Virginia Tech) in Entomology in 1968. He accepted a job with the US Department of Agriculture at the Metabolism and Radiation Research Laboratory in Fargo where he worked until his retirement in 1992. He married Kristin Gardner on October 17, 1981 at Faith United Methodist Church, Fargo. Kris and Ian ran Creature Comfort Home Guard, an in-home pet and house care business from 1992-1999. He also worked for a brief time for the Division of Independent Study at NDSU and more recently he was a dog obedience trainer at FM Dog Obedience School in Moorhead.

He was active in all areas of dog training, from obedience to agility/field. Pets were such a large part of Ian’s life and he enjoyed helping others with their pet needs long into his retirement. He was involved in many dog clubs throughout the Fargo/Moorhead area, including the North Dakota Retriever Club.

His grandchildren were very important to him and he loved keeping up on all of their different sports and activities. He was an avid sports fan and was a proud Team Maker for NDSU.

He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Kristin, Fargo; children, Kim (Paul) Nielsen, Victoria, MN, Scott McDonald, Chanhassen, MN; grandchildren, Cady Nielsen, Mason Doll, Lucas Nielsen, Noah Nielsen, Jaxon McDonald, Cameron McDonald and Jaden McDonald; brother, Duncan (Evelyn) McDonald, Grand Marais, MN; sister, Mary (Tony) Estrada, Arlington, TX.

He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Andy MacDonald.

Funeral Service: 2:00 P.M. Thursday, June 22, 2017 at Boulger Funeral Home & Celebration of Life Center, Fargo with visitation starting at 1:00 P.M.

Memorials preferred to charity of choice.


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33 responses to “Ian C. McDonald”

  1. John Olson & Barb Gilson says:

    John and I met Ian at dog school.Ian was a patient, gentle man with a big heart and bright smile.His steady hand and encouragement made school fun for Lui and Gina.We will miss him . Our heartfelt condolences to Kris and family.

  2. Elizabeth Nelson says:

    Kris and family, I am heartbroken for you. I’ve known Ian since I got into dogs as a child. He volunteered to help teach, mentor, and guide us kids and i will never forget the time he spent with me. Luckily I’ve been able to catch up a few times a year with you both. Take care. This is a loss felt by many, and he will not be forgotten.

  3. Betsy Hamkens says:

    Kris and Family, I am so very sorry to hear of Ian’s passing. The times I would visit with him, of course talking dogs, were a delight. My heart aches for all of you. A truly magnificent man.

  4. Karla Cole-Dease says:

    Peace be with you Kris and your family. He will be missed by so many of us. I will miss his smiles, his good humor. My deepest condolences on your loss.

  5. Donna Nalewaja says:

    My deepest condolences to the family of Ian McDonald. He was an outstanding scientist and contributing member of our community. So sad to lose such wonderful people. Sincerely, Donna Nalewaja

  6. David Arnholt says:

    I met Ian at dog school and spent many lunch hours on Wednesdays working to learn about my dogs and their behavior. Ian was able to help me get the best from them and always pushed me to compete and be a trainer. With his encouragement I trained a rather shy dog to be an outgoing therapy dog and we put in many hours at the Veterans Hospital in Fargo and many nursing homes. Thank you Ian, and Kris, for that encouragement because it meant a lot to a beginner. Ian sponsored my membership into Red River of the North Dog Obedience Club and that opened many opportunities for me. Ian was kind and patient with the dogs and their handlers. I heard Ian say many times that some dogs can learn in just a few times and some others take a few more times. There are times I think the word handlers could have been swapped out for dogs and Ian would have had the same laugh and twinkle in his eye. RIP Ian knowing you was an honor and a pleasure.

  7. Heidi Loucks says:

    Kris, Kim, Scott, and families, I was heartbroken by the news of Ian’s passing. He was the cornerstone of the neighborhood and I felt like he would “always be there.” Please accept my sincere condolences. You are all in my prayers during this very difficult time. I’m sorry I will not be at the funeral, but I’m sure Rosie will represent. Much love, Heidi

  8. Cindy Wambach says:

    The local dog training community will certainly feel the loss of Ian and he will be remembered by many. Sending prayers to Kris and Family.

  9. Greg, Jeri and Izzy Wettstein says:

    Greg and I met Ian, Kris, Cody, Simon and Rosie at dog school back in 1998. Many people from dog school would go to shows together and Ian was always so supportive of others and would be cheering them on. We grew to be very good friends with Ian and Kris. Ian was one of those people that everyone liked; he was quiet, unassuming and so very kind. He always had little dog treats in his pockets and every dog was his buddy. We will miss him so very much. Our thoughts and prayers are with Kris, Juno and Revy and the entire McDonald family.

  10. Cheryl Dangerfield says:

    I have only known Ian for a short time. I began obedience training with my 2 boxers-Otis and Gus-and he was our instructor. I looked forward to classes each and every week and my dogs did as well. Ian was a kind gentle man who’s love of dogs showed thru like a beacon! Always ready to answer questions and/or concerns. I will forever remember his kind gentle manner,his smile and twinkle in his eye. He will be missed -not just by me-but Otis and Gus as well.
    Our condolences to you, Kris, and your entire family.

  11. Nancy Shappell says:

    Wow. Kris while your heart is surely breaking, what a wonderful gift your life together has been. Ian’s love for you, his family and his dogs is so evident in your tribute video. Prayers for comfort.

  12. Mary Higdem says:

    It breaks my heart Ian’s passing. Ian was a wonderful person kind and gentle. Ian’s actions were always kind
    a generous hand and an active mind.
    He was like the big brother I never had. We could talk about anything, and bugs was one of our conversation many times (yuk). Ian would tell me stories about the bugs he dealt with, we had a good laugh.
    Ian is still here, in my heart and mind, still making me laugh now and forever, because his stories live on.
    Ian may your spirit soar in freedom. The Angels in Heaven will enjoy having you with them.
    Gods garden must be beautiful, he always takes the best.
    I will miss you my friend Rest in Peace.
    Kris and family I am so very sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers. God Bless

  13. David and Anita Kordonowy says:

    Scott and family. Anita and I are sorry for your loss and offer our condolences. May God bless you in this time of sorrow.

  14. George and Virginia Gassner says:

    We will keep Ian alive in our memories. He was a good scientist, workmate and friend.

  15. Marilyn Nielsen says:

    We are so sorry Kris and family at this time of loss. Ian will be missed by many. We enjoyed and appreciated learning from him in each class we had with him as our teacher.

  16. Karla Jo Skinner says:

    For everyone who knew him well and loved him, please accept my condolences. While I did not know him well, he impressed me with his caring, intelligence, and value system clearly on display at dog school. He who learns from good dogs, and spends time loving and understanding them is one of the good guys in life. RIP, Ian.

  17. Richard Lingle says:

    my world has grown smaller without Ian in it. He was always the one that made me smile when we met. I will miss him greatly! It was always fun to listen to Ian and Kris when we got together at school or after classes. My deepest condolences Kris on your loss.

  18. Ken Deitz says:

    Kim and family,so sorry for your loss. Thoughts and prayers with you all.

  19. Amy Ruley says:

    Dear Kris and family,
    I don’t know you all well but want to share that from the first time I met Ian years ago I felt his kindness and goodness and just knew I would enjoy knowing him. Perhaps it was the obvious shared love for dogs as “dog people” do connect on a certain level. But beyond that it was his genuine demeanor and good natured attitude that shone through. He is gone much too soon but I know you will hold him in your hearts until you are together again for eternity. I feel privileged to have known Ian and will miss him when I walk my pooches past the McDonald house. RIP my friend!
    Amy Ruley

  20. Kelly Zimmer says:

    He was such a wonderful teacher! Beau (black lab) and I met him when taking classes and he was such a wonderful teacher! He will surely be missed!

  21. Becky Weninger says:

    I’m so sorry to hear of Ian’s passing. I, like many, knew Ian through dog events. I have not been active in dog training for a few years now, but I will always remember Ian’s kind smile and gentle relationship with his dogs.

  22. Natalie Helm says:

    My heart goes out to the entire McDonald family. Ian was warm and kind and it was a pleasure to know him. I like so many others met him through our dogs, I always enjoyed watching him work with his dogs as well as assisting the novice handlers. He was such a kind, patient trainer. The dog community lost a great member. Kris my thoughts and prayers are with you.

  23. Linda Wolter says:

    Kris and Family, my deepest sympathies to you and your family on the loss of a wonderful human being, Ian MacDonald. He was a greatly respected member of the local and area dog lovers community. He was a teacher, guide and mentor to so many over the years. Ian will be sorely missed.

  24. Kari Dowsley says:

    So sorry to hear of your family’s loss. As I write this with tears in my eyes. I met Ian and Kris during during dog obedience class (we attended twice). Ian had a soft spot for my big sweet Saint Bernard, Benson, who sometimes misbehaved. Ian would reassure me “he’s a really good dog”. Ian had a genuine gift and gentle way of reading and redirecting not only dog, but handler too.
    I will never forget the advice he gave on our last day of class. He urged us to enjoy our dog and treat them well as time passes quickly and they can be taken before before one could ever be prepared. And he added how that loss “would hurt like hell”. I took that to heart, but not exactly as he meant. I called my dad that afternoon as he had been having some medical problems and invited him over for dinner. A month later he was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor. I am so thankful I listened to my gut and Ian’s advice.
    Words have power and the greatest legacy of that we leave is the investment we make in those we have the honor to meet. It was an honor to meet your loved one. Ian had so much wisdom to share. I hope you find peace, Kari

  25. Delia Landström says:

    He was always such a joy to run into at the Mutt Hutt. My deepest condolences to his wife and family.

  26. Martha Berryhill says:

    Deepest sympathies, Ian was a kind and gentle soul.
    -Martha B

  27. Joe Provence says:

    Ian was a good friend and a respected role model when we graduated from Arlington High School in 1957. He and I worked together at the Dairy Freeze restaurant and again at Arlington Drive In Theater. We had a blast and I will never forget his infectious laugh. I missed him at our 60th reunion recently. My heart goes out to his family during this time of grief and readjustment. I feel your loss and pray for His strength and comfort for all of you.

  28. Patsy Raye Oakley Gregg says:

    Ian and I were in the same class in Arlington High. I am so sorry for your loss, but happy to see that he had the happy life that he deserved. I remember his quick smile and that he was a little shy. He was a good friend to all.

    God Bless you all in this time of sorrow.


  29. David Snider says:

    God’s blessing to you, Kris, and your family.

    Ian and I were football teammates at Arlington High School and he made me look better by catching my errant passes.

    His big smile and gentle demeanor define my memory of him and I wish I could have seen more of him over the years.

  30. Joe C LaFoy Jr says:

    Sorry to hear about Ian’s passing which I noted in the current Spring 2018 edition of the SMU magazine.. He was a great brother and friend and I have often thought of the fun we had during out time together. He helped me greatly in maturing into adulthood and both of us worked hard to keep each other out of trouble. All the Pikes who knew him turned out better from his leadership and friendship. Thank you Ian.

  31. Richard Pannell says:

    Ian was a fraternity brother, and great role model. My prayers go out to you in your loss!

  32. Jerry Vande Berg says:

    Sorry to hear about Ian. He was a great friend of mine at VPI, both of working on our PhD’s in entomology. We were both married at the times and our families and other graduate student friends often go together. He was an intelligent, well respected as a student and always enjoyed his company. Many blessings to his family, children and grandchildren.

  33. David E. Orr says:

    March 27, 2020: Just discovered Ian’s passing- very saddened- a great soul has left us! Ian and I attended Arlington (Texas) High School and played football together- we were good friends. I fondly remember Ian’s mother reading Robert Burns with strong Scottish brogue, and Ian’s father explaining the McDonald clan heritage- Glencoe and all. I remember his sister Mary also, who was a little girl. A wonderful family!

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