Michael B. McDonald (’71)

Michael Bates McDonald was born August 8, 1949 in Houston, TX to Donoray Ellis and Regina Virginia McDonald. He was the oldest of two boys – he and Donnie – and they grew up in The Heights and Mike was very proud of being born and raised a Heights kid. He still kept certificates from being on the safety patrol at Eugene Fields Elementary. Mike attended Reagan High School where he graduated in 1967. While he got accepted to play football at Wharton Junior College, he didn’t want to make his father pay for his schooling, so he instead stayed home and went to the University of Houston and worked his way through college at the Presidents – First Lady Health Spa. A lifelong proud Cougar, Dad majored in Production and Logistics Management in 1971 and after he graduated from the University of Houston, he joined the Army Reserves. When he returned after his service, dad got a job working for the state comptroller’s office but because it involved auditing small mom and pop businesses, he quickly decided it wasn’t for him and went in a different direction. He joined the Houston Police Department in 1974 as part of the Police Academy Class of 63. That’s the identity of the dad that I know. During his time with HPD, Dad was in patrol, SWAT, a part of the HPD boxing team, a regular participant in the Police Olympics, a hostage negotiator, and a detective in Robbery for most of his 30 years in the department. During that time, he also went on to get a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Sam Houston State University. Even after retirement, he was still active in the Houston Police Officer’s Retired Officers Association and he worked in the retired officer’s assistance committee, and also volunteered with his church, the Spring Creek Church of Christ. He led an active retired life golfing and taking trips with Kathy and his little dog, Bill Miller and enjoying his family – especially his two granddaughters, Andelyn Opal McDonald and most recently – Regina Elaine Nerlinger. Mike passed away on Saturday, February 29, 2020, with his wife Kathy and daughter Angie by his side.

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