Cover photo for James Mcateer's Obituary
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1938 James 2017

James Mcateer

September 17, 1938 — February 25, 2017

James Donald McAteer, 78, of Orlando, FL, died Saturday, February 25, 2017. He was born September 17, 1938, in Ocala, FL, to William Fred McAteer, Jr. and Arietta Pauline McAteer. He was a descendent of pioneer families of the Ocala area.

Don McAteer was a hardworking man of integrity and innovation. During his 78 years he developed a reputation for attaining exceptional results concerning anything he put his hand to. A 1956 graduate of Ocala High School and Marion County's vocational training program, Don became a licensed pilot and Airframe & Powerplant mechanic. After high school he spent three years in the Bahamas as a LeTourneau heavy equipment operator before returning to the mainland to pursue a career in general aviation as a corporate pilot and mechanic. Don eventually settled in Orlando working for Showalter Flying Service. After 22 years in general aviation he assumed an active role in the U.S. Space Shuttle Program. During Don's 20-year tenure at Kennedy Space Center as a non-degreed engineer he developed specialized tools and implemented techniques that enhanced orbiter operations, resulting in numerous space program awards.

Although Don's life was closely associated with manned flight, there was one thing that really made him soar-his family. Many things in Don's life highlighted the importance he placed on his family:

Don married his high school sweetheart, Gail Powell, 57 years ago on December 6, 1959; he chose career options that permitted him to be home every night; he allowed his little boy to tag along with him to the airport; he provided unwavering support toward his grandchildren and great grandchildren; and he meticulously restored the 1800's family homestead in Ocala, FL.

These examples are evidence of the depth of Don's commitment to his family. But he often said that it went further than that. Don believed that his love of family was a reflection of God's love toward him. He desired to be his best so that he might please his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He desired to please Christ first, then his family and others. It is Don's wish that those reading these words would consider their mortality in light of eternity. He knew God's Word to be true when it states, "For by grace are ye saved through faith (in Jesus Christ); and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God" (Ephesians 2:8).

Don is survived by his wife, Gail P. McAteer, Orlando, FL, and son, Donald Ky McAteer (Elisabeth), Clermont, FL. He is also survived by six grandchildren: Tia McAteer Hynes (John), Kissimmee, FL, Melinda McAteer, Laura McAteer, Tommy McAteer, Trevor McAteer, Justin McAteer, all of Clermont, FL; and 2 great grandchildren, Samuel Hynes and Hope Hynes, Kissimmee, FL. He is also survived by his older brother, William Fred McAteer lll (Betty), Ocklawaha, FL. He was preceded in death by his younger brother, Thomas George McAteer in 1973, his father, William Fred McAteer, Jr. in 1992, and his mother, Arietta Pauline McAteer in 2007.

Memorial donations may be made to Delaney Street Baptist Church at 1919 Delaney Avenue, Orlando, FL 32806, or In The Gap at 520 West Main Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73102.

Visitation


Viewing

Delaney Street Baptist Church
1919 Delaney Avenue
Orlando, FL  32806
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
9:30am-10:00am

Service


Funeral Service

Delaney Street Baptist Church
1919 Delaney Avenue
Orlando, FL  32806
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
10:00am

Cemetery


Woodlawn Cemetery
Ocala, FL

Memorial Contributions


Delaney Street Baptist Church
1919 Delaney Avenue
Orlando, FL  32806

Delaney Street Baptist Church
1919 Delaney Avenue
Orlando, FL  32806

In The Gap
520 West Main Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Mcateer, please visit our flower store.

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