Stewart L. MacDonald, 83, of Springfield, Delaware County, a Realtor for many years, died Saturday, Aug. 24, of complications from a stroke at Crozer-Keystone Hospice, Ridley Park.
Known to friends as "Bud," Mr. MacDonald was a Philadelphia native who in the early 1960s moved his family to Springfield. In 1974, he founded Stapleton West Realtors on Baltimore Pike, which he owned and operated until the early 1980s. The firm specialized in residential sales.
Mr. MacDonald found he preferred commercial real estate and made that his niche. He undertook various development projects, including the South Crossing in Ridley Township.
He wrote and lectured widely on commercial real estate and was a frequent guest on the Russ Miller Real Estate radio show on WWDB in Philadelphia.
Mr. MacDonald became certified as a recognized expert in the commercial and investment real-estate industry, and went on to lead the institute that sets industry standards.
But his career was not confined to the Mid-Atlantic states; he also was an adviser to the Caribbean Hotel Association, and helped facilitate several hotel projects in the West Indies.
"Well-heeled investors would come to him, and he would locate commercial properties for them," said his son-in-law, Mike O'Connor.
Mr. MacDonald was a former president of the Baltimore Pike Springfield Rotary and the Springfield Masonic Lodge and active in the Republican Party. An Air Force veteran, he learned to fly as a civilian and piloted a private aircraft, sometimes on business and at other times on pleasure trips to Ocean City, N.J.
Bob, his youngest son, said he learned from his father the courage and faith to forge ahead with endeavors that he might otherwise have feared.
Another son, Bud Jr., said one of the gifts his father imparted was the belief that "a coward dies a thousand deaths, a brave person dies but once." In other words: Do not shrink from a challenge.
Bud Jr. also said his father counseled him to think before speaking.
"It is better for the world to think you're an idiot, than to open your mouth and remove any doubt," his father told him.
He was a Phillies fan - in good times and bad.
Surviving, besides his sons, are his wife, the former Jean M. Burton; another son, John R.; a daughter, Diane O'Connor; eight grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and a brother and sister.
A 9:30 a.m. visitation Thursday, Aug. 29, will be followed by an 11 a.m. funeral at Life Christian Fellowship Church, 607 W. Springfield Rd., Springfield. Burial is in SS Peter & Paul Cemetery.