Obituary: Veteran, Beloved Family Man, Hugh D. MacDonald, 84

An Army veteran, longtime police officer and beloved family man passed away last week after battling an illness.

Hugh D. MacDonald, a retired Lieutenant of the Waltham Police Department, passed away peacefully at home with his family at his side on Tuesday morning, November 16 at 84 years old, his obituary from Sullivan Funeral Home states.

Hugh was born in Waltham, one of three children born to Nova Scotian immigrants John Angus and Rita MacDonald. He grew up in Waltham and was educated at St. Charles School and Waltham High School. He graduated 3 months early so he could enlist in the Army and served as a PFC from January of 1955 to January of 1958.

Upon his discharge from the military, Hugh worked as a reservist for a year with the Waltham Police Department before getting a full time patrolman position in 1960.

“Over the next 34 years he worked and rose to the rank of Lieutenant through hard work, education and devotion to his career, department and the residents of Waltham,” his obituary reads. “Unlike many officers, he preferred working the evening and night shifts over the daytime.”

“He continually wanted to be a better officer and more knowledgeable in the law and thus his love affair with education,” his obituary continues.

He earned his Law Enforcement Degree from Massachusetts Bay Community College in 1975. He earned a Sociology and Law Enforcement Degree from Boston State in 1977, a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Anna Marie College in 1980, and a Law Degree from the Massachusetts School of Law in Andover in 1993. He was also a member of the Massachusetts Police Association.

Following his retirement from the Waltham Police in 1994, he became an adjunct professor teaching criminal justice and ethics at the Western New England College to officers throughout the state who were seeking advanced degrees.

“It was important to him to mentor and share his knowledge and experiences with others contributing to the profession he was so dedicated to,” his obituary reads.

Hugh was introduced to his future wife, Audrey Nelligan, by one of her cousins. They were married in 1965 and settled in Burlington in 1969 where they started their family and raised their four children.

“As a father, he tried to present a stern exterior, but he was entirely kind-hearted,” his obituary reads. “He loved to have fun and the family trips to Bunganut Lake Campground in Maine provided them a lifetime of stories filled with laughter and love. He encouraged his children to get a good education, take responsibility for their actions, make good decisions, and to be strong role models for their children.”

Read his full obituary here.