The father of fallen Philadelphia Police Sergeant Patrick McDonald passed away suddenly Wednesday.
Larry McDonald suffered a massive heart attack while riding his bike in Northeast Philadelphia. LINK
Friends say Mr. McDonald was training for the Tour de Shore to raise money for various charities, including the Police Survivor’s Fund that benefits families of fallen Philadelphia Police Officers.
His own son, Patrick, was a fallen hero whose life was cut short at the hands of a convicted felon. Sergeant Patrick McDonald was gunned down by Daniel Giddings on September 23, 2008 while chasing him down a North Philadelphia street.
Eyewitness News last spoke with Larry in April 2009, when his son’s football team, the Blue Flames, retired his jersey. Wearing his son’s jersey, he remembered the first time his son scored a touchdown on Soldiers Field. “I said Pat, the good Lord can take me now, you just scored a touchdown in Soldiers Field.”
Larry McDonald, a retired Philadelphia Fire Captain with 34 years in the department, was 60.
Funeral arrangements are pending.
Today the PFD and PPD suffered another enormous tragedy. Retired Fire Department Captain Larry McDonald died of a heart attack. As reported, his son Patrick was a Philadelphia Highway Patrol Police Officer who was murdered in the line of duty a year and a half ago.
Larry was one of a generation of old-time Fire Captains that helped give the PFD the legendary reputation it enjoys to this day. He was a family friend whose career spanned the same era as my fathers as well as Wyatt’s. Most close to the PFD & PPD know that the death of his son Pat was a devastating blow to Larry and the entire McDonald family. After Pat’s death Larry channeled his energy into causes that benefitted fallen police officers families like the Tour de Shore.
Grief often has a way of getting people to rise to greater causes. Unlike some towns and cities Philadelphia’s Police and Firefighters have an especially close relationship. We are very often tied to each other through blood in more ways than one. Larry was a Firefighter and Pat was a Police Officer. I have family who are police officers and so it goes. Many times the career choice between the Police Department or Fire Department is who calls you first. To say this tragedy cuts both ways is no understatement. I expect his funeral will be massive as was Pats. And it will be just as sad.
God bless the McDonald family in their time of grief.