Cathedral Square Assisted Living This community offers the benefits of assisted living at a choice location overlooking Lake Champlain in downtown Burlington. Conveniently located near the University of Vermont and Fletcher Allen Health Care, the community offers 28 assisted living units designed to be affordable to households wit... More Information.
Tuesdays & Thursdays 3-7
186 Shelburnewood, Shelburne, VT
There really is a Ronald McDonald! However “Mac,” who lives at Holy Cross in Colchester, is no clown, although he once had aspirations to be a comedian. In all fairness, Mac will be 80 this year. Born in 1934, his parents had no idea of the future fast food icon who would share the same name. Mac says, “It is just a good Irish name.”
Mac hails from Muskegon, Michigan. He attended Western Michigan College and hoped to study the fine art of being another Red Skelton, the comedian he so admired. He was also a very good athlete who had a scholarship to play baseball, but also played football and basketball. Soon after college, Mac entered the Army Infantry and was stationed in Korea.
During summer vacations Mac worked as a bartender at the well-known Grand Hotel at Mackinac Island, Michigan. That is where he was introduced to his wife to be, Carla. After the two married, they made their home in Cadillac, Michigan and became the parents of 7 boys and 3 girls. Mac confesses he can’t count all his grandchildren but estimates between 30 and 40!
Both he and his wife worked many years in the Cadillac schools; he as a custodian and she as a school bus driver. Mac grinned and said that they kept an eye on their children all the way through school that way. His favorite “job” was being a volunteer umpire for Cadillac High School football games, while his wife coached girls’ middle school athletics.
When the children were raised, Mac and Carla moved to Davie, Florida, but two sons live in Vermont, so it made sense to be closer to them. At first they lived in Bristol and now in Colchester. Mac is delighted to be near Lake Champlain because he is also an avid ice fisherman who shares love of the sport with his son.
When he lived in Bristol, Mac faithfully attended school sports games, especially football games. He proudly wears a jacket from Mount Abraham School with a cap to match, a gift from the football team for his years of cheering the students on.
Mac says he feels fortunate to live at Holy Cross where “sometimes the ladies and the church prepare food for the residents.” His favorite foods are hot dogs and split pea soup. Mac can often be found in the basement at Holy Cross where there is a work bench where he repairs furniture for residents or makes bird houses. Mac also has an unusual hobby of coloring in coloring books. He says the activity helps him focus and brings ‘color’ into his life.
Once Mac tried to race a train and lost. He was paralyzed for a year and has quite a bit of arthritis on his left side as a result, so outdoor activities are limited now. Also, Carla is living in a care home in Glover where he is not able to visit more than 2 or 3 times a month. It is important that he stay active as best as he can with these lifestyle changes. Mac’s philosophy is “laughter and friends are the best medicine.” Mac makes sure he’s around plenty of both at Holy Cross.