David Mac McDougal

Obituary for David Mac McDougal

February 4, 1954 - April 27, 2017
Redwood City, California | Age 63

In Memory of Mac: Rower, Sailor, and Renaissance Man


Celebration of Life information is at the end of this obituary.

David "Mac" McDougal passed away Thursday, April 27, 2017, at Bair Island Aquatic Center (BIAC). He had lived in Redwood City since 1977. He was raised in St Louis, Missouri, where he attended John Burroughs School. And from the time he was 8, he and his family spent their summers on MacMahan Island, Maine, where he developed lifelong friendships and a passion for sailing.

David attended Hamilton College in New York, graduating in 1976. He studied English literature and, among other things, played intramural sports, picked banjo in a bluegrass band, and hosted a college radio program. He never lost his love of literature and music.

After moving to Silicon Valley, David quickly established his reputation as a Marketing Director and writer who helped organizations such as Legato, Altos, Apple, HP, Trolltech, and Navita define and tell their stories. He continued to sail and enjoyed cruising as well as racing in a variety of boats, from International 14's to large-class J Boats.

He also developed a new water-based passion - for rowing. "Mac" was seen early most mornings in his single on San Francisco Bay or on a rowing machine at BIAC. He first sat on the Board of the Stanford Rowing Club and then helped to found Bair Island Aquatic Center. He often competed in Nationals rowing events, including a recent marathon. One of his greatest pleasures was coaching The Happy Scullers at BIAC.

David was also an avid environmentalist and prolific artist, producing carvings, graphic designs, drawings, and photographs, many pieces featuring life on the Bay. Dinner guests were treated to his signature desserts, including the world's richest, darkest chocolate cake, tarte tatin, and fresh-ginger gingerbread (recipe from the pastry chef at Chez Panisse).

David is survived by his loving wife of 32 years, Patricia McDougal; his parents David and Barbara McDougal; his uncles Bill and Al McDougal; his sisters Maddy and Sarah McDougal; his nephew and niece, Topher and Rebecca McDougal; and his great nephew and niece Kellan and Aelis McDougal.
The Redwood City celebration of life will be held on Saturday, July 15, in two outdoor venues:
4:00 – On the bank of Smith Slough at 1 Uccelli Blvd, Redwood City
5:00 - Bair Island Aquatic Center (BIAC), 1450 Maple St, Redwood City, CA 94063

For rowers: Susan Lucas-Conwell (slucasconwell@gmail.com)
Family and friends other than the rowing community: Patricia McDougal (mcdougal08@gmail.com)

4:00 - Meet at 1 Uccelli Blvd (the extension of Whipple, east off of 101 freeway) to view the "row-by," on-the-water celebration on the Slough.
5:00 - Meet at the Bair Island Aquatic Center (BIAC) for celebratory stories, toasts, and remembrances of David/Mac's life.
Hors d'oeuvres and beverages will be shared. If you wish to bring anything, please contact Renata Perry (renataskincare@gmail.com) or Patricia McDougal (mcdougal08@gmail.com).

These events will be outdoors, at the water's edge, and it will likely be windy. There is a short walk on Uccelli Blvd from the parking lot to the Row-By site, so wear comfortable shoes. It would be good to bring a windbreaker or jacket.

Message from the Family

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