April 19, 1929 – October 27, 2018
Friday, November 2, 2018
Family Visitation: 12:00 Noon
Funeral Service: 1:00 P.M.
Neal’s Temple Presbyterian Church
313 Maple Street West
Pleasant View Cemetery
Robert McDonald was born on April 19, 1929 to the late Lucy Bonner McDonald and John McDonald. He went home to be with the Lord on October 27, 2018.
Robert worked in the dry-cleaning industry for a number of years. He was the first black announcer at the local radio station WEKR and was known by the DJ name, Uncle Ned. Robert was a co-founding member of The Heavenly Stars, a gospel group known for their distinctive harmony, and they were the opening act for such artists as Sam Cooke and the Staple Singers. Robert was also manager and lead singer of another gospel group called The Melodyaires, which was formed after The Heavenly Stars, and he possessed a beautiful baritone singing voice, which both his sons, John and Larry, inherited. Robert also served as a board member for the Fayetteville Housing Authority for several years.
He was a lifelong member of Neal’s Temple C.P. Church in Fayetteville. He served as Elder, Superintendent of Sunday School, Church Clerk, Representative for the Regional Elk River Presbytery, and was an active member of his Church until his illness. He was a role model and confidante to many of the church leaders, and many viewed him as a father figure. He was recognized for his spiritual gift of knowledge and would often minister to the congregation during the pastor’s absence.
He married the love of his life, Irene Jones McDonald, on December 17, 1945, and to this union four children were born. Robert was devoted to his family and enjoyed the bond he shared with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Robert is preceded in death by his wife, parents and seven siblings: Henry, George A., John (Bubba), Thomas, Melvin and Fred (Moon) McDonald, and sister, Marie Howard.
He leaves to cherish his memories: two sons, John Robert (Irene P.) McDonald of Murfreesboro, TN; Larry Carlton (Jacqueline) McDonald of Austin, TX; two daughters, Pamela M. (William) Stephens of Huntsville, AL; and Angela M. Hopkins of Fayetteville, TN; sister-in-law, Isabell McDonald (Detroit, MI); brother-in-law, Eugene (Alice) Jones of Dayton, OH; devoted friends of the family, Carol C. and Tony Foster of Fayetteville, and Mary G. McDonald of Fayetteville; a host of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.