VIRGINIA BEACH – George Alexander MacRae succumbed to illness June 7, 2010 at the age of 92.
Survivors include wife, Gloria; sons, Robert Bruce, Donald Robert (wife Karen); grandsons, Craig (Carrie) and Eric (Patti); great-grandchildren, Nicole, Justin and Megan; and nephews, Bruce, Barry, Rob and Val. He was predeceased by parents, Donald A. and Emmy Elva Paine; daughter, Jennifer Allison; daughter-in- law, Madonna; and brother, Robert G.
Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, he was a survivor of the “Halifax Explosion” and evacuated to Baddeck where several cousins and relatives live today. His father, Col. Donald Alexander MacRae, was wounded in World War I and later moved the family to southern California. George was a track athlete in high school, Glendale Junior College (news accounts referred to him as the “Glendale Greyhound” and was awarded a “golden shoe”), and received a track scholarship to LSU in Baton Rouge, La. He set records at each school and ran (but lost) against Olympic runner Glen Cunningham.
He enlisted as a Marine in World War II and transferred to the U.S. Marine Raiders. He spent two years in and out of hospitals after being wounded and losing use of one arm.
With help from his mother, he became a “leftie” and found employment with Lockheed, Dumont Aviation and Queen’s Medical Center. He was a certified purchasing manager. He lived in Cape Breton Island, Harbor Springs, Mich., Glendale, Catalina Island and Honolulu, retiring to Virginia Beach.
He was an amateur photographer, loved sailing and golf. He served as assistant and later curator of the Marine Raider Museum now located at Quantico, and was active in the Raider Association, fielding numerous inquiries regarding Raiders and their service; former Chieftain of Caledonian Society of Hawaii, member of Clan MacRae of No. America, St. Andrews Society, Disabled American Veterans, Marine Corps League, FRA Branch 99 of Virginia Beach, and Scottish Society of Tidewater. He was a guest speaker and received many awards and citations from military and historical groups. He will be remembered by many for his signature jacket and special hats, and for his ramrod straight Marine posture.
A memorial service will be conducted Friday at 2 p.m. in St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church with Father Mark Wilkinson officiating. Hollomon-Brown Funeral Home, Lynnhaven Chapel, is handling the arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church or the Marine Raider Association.