RICHARD Z. “DICK” MACDONALD
Dick Macdonald grew up in Idlewild Park, learning from his father how to operate the family’s Ligonier Township amusement park.
When he and his brother C.K., known as Jack, took over management of the family-oriented attraction in 1957, Dick took delight in fulfilling his father’s vision for the adjoining Storybook Forest ---- where children could come face-to=-face with characters from their favorite fairytales and nursery rhymes.
“He was very instrumental in that whole idea coming to fruition,” said his daughter, Susan Grill.
Richard Z. “Dick” Macdonald died at home of natural causes Tuesday, January 2, 2018. He was 95.
Mr. Macdonald served as president of that park offshoot.
“he felt that would be fun to do” said his wife, Mary Ann. “he would work with an artist and make plans for the different fairytales.
Featured Characters included Humpty Dumpty, the three little pigs, and a knight who stood guard in a castle, speaking to visitors.
One of his favorite additions to Storybook Forest was a general store that offered patrons penny candy and antique toys.
“He drew up the plans for that” his wife recalled. We went down to Williamsburg and kind of copied from them.
Mr. Macdonald was a familiar sight on the park grounds, making sure all was well and mingling with the visitors.
“He liked seeing the people have fun”, his wife said.
Born in Cuyahoga Fall, Ohio, on Feb. 13, 1922, Mr. Macdonald was a son of the Clinton C. and Grace R. Macdonald.
A graduate of Greenbrier Military School in Lewisburg, WV., Mr. Macdonald attended Penn State University until he enlisted in the Air Force in
World War II. Initially stationed in Burtonwood, England, to serve as a test pilot.
His love of planes began when he built models as a child
After the war, he continued to fly his private plane until he was 81, making regular trips to reunions at Greenbrier. Other passions included fly fishing, trap shooting and dancing with his wife.
Hwe enjoyed rounding up cattle on horseback at the couple’s Rich Hollow Farm, where he provided winter shelter for goats featured in the park.
When the family’s next generation opted to pursue other interests, the brothers sold the park to Kennywood in January, 1983.
Mr. Macdonald stayed busy volunteering for the local Meals on Wheels program. He also donated trees to the Ligonier Valley Chamber of commerce, the Ligonier Valley Library and the Ligonier Valley Historical Society.
“He wa always considerate and a very caring person, and he enjoyed life,” his wife said.
In addition to his parents, Mr. Macdonald was preceded in death by his brother and sister, Virginia Hand.
He is survived by his wife of 71 years; three children, Zanne Macdonald of Charlottesville, VA., Susan Grill and her husband, Erik, of Ligonier, and Richard of Sandpoint, Idaho; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
A memorial service to celebrate his life will be held in the spring. Thomas L. Nied Funeral Home of Pittsburg is in charge of arrangements.
Memorial donations may be sent to Covenant Presbyterian Church Scholarship Fund 200 N. Market Street, Ligonier, Pa 15658