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Malcolm E. Macdonald, D.C.

August 28, 1931 ~ November 20, 2022 (age 91)




It is with love and sadness that we announce the passing of  Malcolm Macdonald, Falmouth chiropractor age 91, on 11-20-22 due to heart failure.

Dr. Macdonald was born in Holyoke, MA, the son of Malcolm S. and Yvonne (Thibideau) Macdonald.    He was a graduate of Lawrence High School in Falmouth (1949), Palmer College of Chiropractic and University of Massachusetts.

Dr. Macdonald opened his first office over his dad's restaurant on Main St, Falmouth, then moved it into his home on Prospect St., this at a time when Massachusetts was one of 3 states not yet licensed for chiropractic. He was the only chiropractor serving the Cape and Islands for 15 years.  As his practice grew, he moved to the second floor of the Eastman building on Main St. and later to 169 Gifford St.

He was a former town meeting and Rod and Gun Club member, past president of the Young Democrats Club, and Vice-Chairman of the Democratic Town Committee.

In 1964 he was elected President of the Massachusetts Chiropractic Society and in that position for the next 3 years proceeded to organize his colleagues to license their profession, after previous attempts had failed.  The task was especially challenging due to fierce political resistance from the Massachusetts Medical Society, but after much effort and public support and against all odds, licensing legislation was signed by Governor John Volpe in 1966. 

As the bill was proceeding through the legislature, Dr. Macdonald testified before the Public Health Committee in support of  its passage, revealing officially that he was practicing as a chiropractor in Falmouth.  Using that information, the Massachusetts Medical Society filed a complaint against him and he was arrested. With chiropractic already licensed in 47 other states, D.C. and Puerto Rico, and a current bill being acted upon in the legislature here, he went to trial in Barnstable Superior Court before judge Henry L. Murphy on Jan 6 1966.  Due to a significant oversight by the prosecution and a very sympathetic judge, he was found innocent.

He was a member of the Mass. Board of Chiropractic Examiners  for 20 years under four governors and chairman for the first 15.  For his efforts in spearheading the licensing drive, Dr. Macdonald  was voted President Emeritus of the Massachusetts Chiropractic Society and numerous other honors there and from the American Chiropractic Association for his dedication to the advancement of the profession.

 He initiated establishment of  the 6 state New England Chiropractic Council and was its Executive Director from 1966 to 1974 and editor and publisher of the New England Journal of Chiropractic from 1970 – 1975.  He served as MA Delegate to the National Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards and Delegate to the American Chiropractic Association from St Thomas U.S. Virgin Islands. He was the owner and developer of  a manufactured home and campground facility on John's Pond in Mashpee and established the first chiropractic offices on Nantucket and St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. He loved his home on St. Thomas that he oversaw the repair and expansion of, after damage by hurricane Hugo in 1989 and was instrumental in licensing chiropractic in the 3 island territory in 1979. His accomplishments were achieved with the love, help and support of his wife, the love of his life and high school sweetheart, Patricia Ruth (Leonard).

Dr. Macdonald is predeceased by sisters Lois Green and Claire Powell, son-in-law Barry Sadoff and granddaughter Kelly Coppenrath.  He is survived by his wife of 71 years Patricia Ruth (Leonard), sons David and his wife Linda, Dale and his wife Cheryl and Denis, daughters Debra Sadoff and Diane Macdonald, grandchildren Scott Macdonald, Megan Lang, Kelsey and Kerri Sadoff, Emily Schmit, David R Macdonald,  Jessica Lawrence, Josh Burgess and 8 great grandchildren. 

Funeral service will be private. To leave a message pf condolence for the family and to visit the tribute wall please visit   A celebration of life will be held at a later date

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