Robert "Bob" MacDonald
On March 30, 2020, Bob MacDonald officially moved into a Sunnyside neighborhood from Fredericksburg, VA, to spend two weeks alone in quarantine. Neighbors yelled "Hey, Bob" as he retrieved his morning paper. More recently we have gotten to know our friendly new arrival as a great neighbor. After those first 14 days he began walking throughout Sunnyside in the early morning, meeting other masked pedestrians for distanced conversations. He has learned to know the most physically active residents and staff on campus. An entertaining diversion has been re-connecting by phone and E-mail with area residents he had known while living near Madison College in the 1970's.
Bob was born in DC and grew up in Arlington, VA. His favorite childhood memories include being Captain of the AAA Crossing Guards in 6th grade and being terribly homesick at their week long training camp. Boy Scouting led to his lifelong love of hiking. He attained the rank of Eagle Scout then served as an Assistant Scout Master.
Although he was a city boy, he chose to attend Carson Newman College in Jefferson City, Tennessee. After graduating with a major in psychology and three minors, he served as the Guidance Counselor in a small, rural, 12 year school, also in Tennessee. His position meant that he was a substitute teacher, truant officer, nurse, study hall proctor, etc. The experiences of that year served as the basis for his seeking more training in the field of counseling. He headed to Harrisonburg to enroll at Madison College as one of the first full-time graduate students in its brand new Counseling Program. After graduation with an MS in Counseling he worked in academic and financial aid counseling departments at Germanna Community College (3 years), James Madison University (7 years), then the University of Mary Washington (21 years) until retirement.
As retirement loomed, he began to revise his five year plan. He had responsibility for aging parents, a sister, and an elderly colleague in Northern Virginia and Fredricksburg. He decided to ease the future burdee sales were finalized on houses he was responsible for, he made plans for his big move to our neighborhood. Even with COVID-19 restrictions in place, the move was not traumatic for him. Bob's interests in meeting people, gardening, cooking, genealogy, hiking, and reading have served him well as he has adapted to life at Sunnyside, COVID style.