Michael P. McDonald, of Batavia, NY, died peacefully Friday morning (Mar. 4, 2016) at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY, after a lengthy illness.
Mr. McDonald was born October 28, 1964 in Rochester; son of the late Paul McDonald and the late Barbara (Provenzano) Samberg.
Mr. McDonald graduated from the Aquinas Institute in 1982 and moved quickly into the family business. In 1984, he took over as the publicity director of Batavia Downs Racetrack, which was then owned by his mother Barbara Samberg (who was the first female Director of the USTA) and his Aunt Donna Warner, after the passing of their father Pat Provenzano, who founded the track in 1940.
For 14 years, Mr. McDonald publicized and organized the activities of the top names in the industry and managed many high level racing events held at Batavia Downs that included Grand Circuit races, New York Sire Stakes and a Breeders Crown in 1988.
When the track was eventually sold to Western Regional Off Track Betting (WROTB) in 1998, Mr. McDonald stayed on staff and became the facilities operations manager and inter-track wagering (ITW) manager and served in both capacities until 2006.
A member of Resurrection Parish in Batavia, Mr. McDonald was an avid sports fan (in particular of the Minnesota Vikings) and was very active in local youth sports. He was also very involved with his two sons and their activities. He enjoyed playing golf and participated in the local men's hockey league. He was a youth football coach, Little League baseball coach and a volunteer for Notre Dame High School football.
Mr. McDonald is survived by his stepfather Jim Samberg, of Webster; his pride and joy, sons Cam and Aaron McDonald, both of Batavia; loving sisters, Martha Smith, of Rochester, Margo Conheady, of Rochester, Meghan (Scott Boone) McDonald, of Scottsville, and dear brother, Mark (Jacquie) McDonald, of Atlanta; his former wife, Kelly McDonald, and many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.
The McDonald family will be present from 2 to 4 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday (Mar. 9) at the Michael S. Tomaszewski Funeral & Cremation Chapel located at 4120 W. Main Street Road, Batavia. Prayers will be recited at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday (Mar. 10) followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. celebrated by the Rev. Bill Donnelly at Resurrection Parish (St. Joseph's site). Memorials can be made in his honor to Notre Dame High School, 73 Union St., Batavia, NY 14020.
Please share your words of comfort with Mike's family at www.tomaszewskifh.com or for more information please call (585)343-7500.
(Written by Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs.)