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OBIT: Walter D. “Mac” McCausland

A Public Visitation will be held at Locke at Tower Park Funeral Home at 4140 Kimball Avenue in Waterloo from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 15 followed by a Private Family service and Private Burial at Waterloo Memorial Park Cemetery on Wednesday, February 16. Mac was always giving his family lists and told them, “Have a big party when I’m gone,” so we are following his wishes. An outdoor Celebration of Life for the public will be held in Waterloo in a few months when the ground thaws and the sun is shining. There will be plenty of food, drinks, and music…just the way Mac would like to say his final goodbye.

In Lieu of Flowers, the family suggests that memorial gifts be made to the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Cedar Valley, the Waterloo Community Foundation, or the Mac32 Basketball Excellence Fund at the University of Iowa Foundation at PO Box 4550; Iowa City, IA 52244-4550.

W.D. “Mac” McCausland

Walter Delmont “Mac” McCausland III, successful business and community leader and longtime radio and TV color analyst, died of natural causes on Saturday, February 5, 2022, at his home in Las Vegas, Nevada at the age of 75. His sudden passing came as a shock to his friends and family. Mac was one of a kind and marched to his own beat – we know he would want us remembering the good times so here goes…

Mac was born February 25, 1946, in Davenport, Iowa, son of Julia Jeanne Steele McCausland and Walter Delmont “Mac” McCausland II. He grew up in Maquoketa and kept himself busy with work and school activities. He cut his teeth in leadership when his younger sister, Sue, was born in 1950. “Macky,” as Sue fondly calls her big brother, employed his little sister to help him deliver the Des Moines Register, mow lawns, and maintain the baseball diamonds during the summer. He took great pride in their teamwork and rigged wire fencing behind his car to drive around and around the diamonds, perfecting the dirt before chalking the lines and the final raking. Child labor laws and workers compensation were not pursued, so he got away with not paying Sue despite her blisters and loyal commitment to Macky’s expectations. The McCausland family absolutely loved spending time at their cabin in Rochford, South Dakota in the summers. It was a very special place to Mac as he spent an entire summer there with his grandparents fishing, swimming in hot springs, playing cribbage and croquet, learning chess, and even helping wiring crank phones from cabin to cabin.

Always looking to compete and win, Mac stayed busy playing basketball, ping pong, marbles, and challenging his family and friends to Monopoly marathons. Mac was the high school quarterback, qualified for the state golf tournament, played baseball, and was a basketball standout. He was also Senior Class President and on student council and homecoming court. On the performing arts side, he decided early that he would not be a musician despite his serious love of music. In fact, he locked his clarinet case and flushed the key down the toilet. But he did go on to sing bass in the choir and was the lead in the play Our Town as Stage Manager. He graduated from Maquoketa High School in 1964 and took his talents to The University of Iowa. Mac was a walk-on basketball player on the men’s team under coach Ralph Miller and then served as the freshman team assistant coach. He was a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity and received his Bachelor of Business Administration with an advanced degree in insurance. It was on the beautiful Iowa City campus where Mac met and fell for Linda McConnelee. The two shared a love for competition, playing sports, their fraternity and sorority events, and dancing the night away! It was said they were quite the pair to watch on the dancefloor.

A marriage to Linda and a move to Waterloo soon followed where he began working for Vaughan & Pedersen Insurance. They welcomed their children, Amy Jo “A.J.” and Michael Kent, and shared many great memories as a family on vacations and cheering on the Hawks. He and Linda divorced after nearly 25 years of marriage, and they remained friendly and actively involved in the celebrations, activities, and precious moments of the lives of their children and grandchildren. He was sad to lose his friend, Linda, when she passed away unexpectedly in September of 2020.

Mac was passionate about his work in the insurance industry, hustled to make connections, and took the best care of his clients. Productivity was his ultimate measure, and he was a goer and a doer. This led to him being promoted to a Partner, and the agency became Vaughan, Pedersen, & McCausland Insurance in 1979. A merger with Brown and Dieckman in 1991 created Pedersen, Dowie, Clabby, & McCausland Insurance, now known as PDCM Insurance. The agency is full-service, and Mac worked across industries consulting on business insurance and building relationships with clients and friends across Iowa and beyond from manufacturing to retail to professional services and healthcare. He became a medical malpractice expert later in his career and was known as a go-to in this arena. Over his career leading the team at PDCM, he was known to say, “Let’s do the best for the most.” Given Mac’s preference for staying busy and productive, he still managed to drop by the office in his retirement, and the PDCM team enjoyed these entertaining interactions.

Mac was actively involved in many local organizations during his career and known to be a generous philanthropist, donating his time, money, and fundraising strengths to many organizations and causes. He played an essential role in what the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Cedar Valley is today. He was known for his fundraising expertise, raising money to build a new outdoor basketball court, a new wood floor in the gym, and eventually be part of a team that raised $6.5M to build the new Teen and Educational Center. Mac was proud to be on the board when the historic “Boys Club of Waterloo” began to let girls attend, and he remained a top supporter of the club his entire life. He was actively involved in the community and loved hanging out at Friday Loo Summer Concert Series, Iowa Irish Fest, Bike Nights, the Harley Party, live music, and festivals, and of course…Damon’s Sports Bar & Grill, where he loved walking across the street to be with his friends, watch games, and enjoy pizza, wings, and beverages.

People have described Mac as unique, charismatic, and a force. He had as diverse a set of hobbies as he did friends. He played pickup basketball games at noon at River Plaza until he was 70. Mac was a lefty and known to be scrappy, tenacious, and have sharp elbows on the court. He was an enthusiastic gardener, scouring greenhouses for pretty flowers, while always paying meticulous attention to detail in manicuring his yard, just like he did with the baseball fields as a kid. An avid collector and archivist from a young age, Mac gathered sports cards, newspapers, and memorabilia, passing this interest down to his son and grandsons. A yearly highlight for them was attending the National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago.

Mac and paper go hand in hand. He had notepads, lists, newspapers, and computer printouts with him always. In fact, it was not unusual for him to read five to six newspapers daily. His love affair with the Cleveland Indians began with his following of pitcher and native Iowan, Bob Feller. His love for Cleveland athletics continued with the Browns as his favorite NFL team. He was also a diehard fan of Muhammed Ali. Over his lifetime, Mac taught his family to, “spend your money on experiences not things.” He attended multiple NBA playoff games, Indy 500 races, NFL football games, and Hawkeye Basketball and Football tournaments and bowl games. He also loved going to concerts including Meatloaf, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Def Leppard, Journey, Imagine Dragons, Desert Trip outdoor music festival in California, and his recent favorite…Lady Gaga. He was a fervent cyclist, participating in dozens of RAGBRAIs, and biking with one of his best friends through Tuscany, Prague, California Wine Country, Austin, and Asheville.

Generations of Hawkeye fans know Mac as a radio voice and television color analyst for Hawkeye men’s basketball for multiple decades. Later in his announcing career, he enjoyed being a voice of the Missouri Valley Conference. He was featured with his son, Kent, on the weekly Black & Gold Breakdown show and was a basketball columnist for the Voice of the Hawkeyes. Mac served on the National I-Club Board from 1975-93, including as President of the National Board in 1986-87. He was honored as the National I-Club Hawk of the Year in 1980, Lifetime Honorary Director in 1993, and was the recipient of the 1994 Iowa Letterwinners Club Distinguished Service Award. In 2002, he was awarded an Iowa Letterwinners Club Honorary Letterwinner and loved waving to the fans from the field at Kinnick Stadium as he received it. He also served as a longtime President of the Black Hawk County I-Club. A basketball junkie, Mac often attended Nike Peach Jam and national AAU tournaments to watch high school prospects. Many college coaches wondered why someone would choose to go to these tournaments when most coaches found it to be a chore to travel the country recruiting. But Mac lived for that time in the gym, watching the future stars of the college game while chatting it up with the coaches, many who were his close friends.

Mac’s love for basketball and his Iowa Hawkeyes was only bested by his love for his family and friends. He beamed with pride when he spoke of his kids and grandkids. Artwork, cards, notes, and pictures were proudly displayed throughout his home. He loved talking about Amy’s bowling scores, clarinet performances at church and community band, and their shared passion for Hawkeye sports. They had a great tradition where Amy loved going to all the Senior Day football and basketball games in Iowa City with Mac and her family. He and Amy absolutely loved the Indy 500, attended three in person, and always watched it together. His grandson, Michael (27), has great memories of road tripping to Wichita for bowling camp with his Grandpa Mac. His grandchild, Jenna (21), loved bike riding through George Wyth and talking endlessly about music together. Mac got to give his teaching and coaching strengths a go when he coached the Waterloo Boys & Girls Club Runnin’ Rebels AAU Team, with a highlight of placing 6th in the country with the 1993 team. He was not only the coach, but a mentor and father figure to many on the team. He sat courtside at Carver, either announcing or cheering Kent on during his exciting career as a three-year starter under the leadership of Dr. Tom Davis. Although Mac did his best to stay neutral, you could hear the pride in his voice as Kent drained 3’s. The two were more like bros than father-son. They loved golfing, talking hoops, attending sporting events, and grabbing lunch during the workday as Kent also became a Partner at PDCM Insurance. Jay (13) loved hanging out with Grandpa Mac, seeing him in the stands at his games, playing golf, and looking at sports cards. Casey (8) enjoyed going to Iowa basketball and football games, visiting Las Vegas, and riding in his red convertible. The Greves and McCauslands all loved their Sunday afternoon grill outs at Mac’s, water balloon and squirt gun fights, tailgating in Iowa City, and their over-the-top Christmas celebrations!

His retirement years took him to his Las Vegas home overlooking a beautiful Par 5 hole at Siena Golf Club. He loved warm weather and cherished his time on the patio in the morning reading his newspapers, making his lists, and soaking in the sun. Although many snowbirds head South all winter, you could never pin Mac down long in one place. Instead, he would strategically plan short trips to Las Vegas, so he rarely missed an Iowa basketball game at Carver Hawkeye Arena or any of his kids’ and grandkids’ activities. Never one to be idle, Mac made the most of his years in Las Vegas seeing all the greatest shows Vegas had to offer. We all loved spending time with him there and seeing him so upbeat and happy. He loved the energy and pace and seemed to make new friends every time he visited. Mac’s family is at peace that he made one last trip to the city he also called home. He was known to commonly say, “You can sleep when you’re dead.” Well Mac, it’s finally time for you to rest. You got everything done and crossed off your list. As you famously said on air when the Hawks had a game locked away, “It’s chips and salsa time!” Mac, Grandpa Mac, Macky, Macker, Mac Daddy – We love you and will miss you so much!

Mac is survived by his two children, Amy (Ryan) Greve and Kent (Traci) McCausland, all of Waterloo and four grandchildren: Michael and Jenna Greve and Jay and Casey McCausland. He is also survived by his sister, Sue McCausland of Iowa City, and nieces Abby and Caitlin Ross. He was preceded in death by his parents Julia Jeanne Steele McCausland and Walter Delmont “Mac” McCausland II, grandparents Gladys and J.M. Steele, grandparents Walter Delmont McCausland I and Mildred McCausland Fickel, Uncle Jim Steele, and Aunt Claire Zanders.

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