Former Corpus Christi Mayor Ben McDonald has passed away. He was 86.
McDonald was only 35-years old when he served as Mayor of Corpus Christi. He served from 1961-63, at a time when the city was at a crossroads with a lot of big issues like water and civil rights.
He was born in Austin, and attended college at the University of Texas, where he graduated with a bachelors degree in economics. He served in the Navy during World War II, and later practiced law.
McDonald would go on to teach environmental law part-time from 1998-2009 at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, until he decided to retire. Moustafa Abdelsamad, dean of TAMUCC's College of Business, described McDonald as a wonderful person, who was a good teacher, and was loved by his students.
"Even though he was teaching part-time, he did more than the minimum necessary," Abdelsamad said. "He did a lot to take care of the students, and was very popular with faculty members and the students who took his course."
Current Mayor Joe Adame said he had known McDonald for several years. He described him as a visionary leader.
"I think we need to celebrate Ben's life as a role model," Adame said. "Provides great history. Young people can look at someone that took those risks at an early age to be that kind of leader the rest of his life."
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, July 24, at the First Christian Church on Santa Fe.
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