Remembering, Honoring, and Celebrating Xavier John McDonald

Remembering, Honoring, and Celebrating Xavier John McDonald

Writer / Alli Donovan
Photography Provided

To lose someone who brought such a light to the lives of others is a terrible tragedy. And to lose a child is incredibly devastating. Renee and Brandon McDonald experienced these feelings with the loss of their son, Xavier. They are honoring his legacy in the best way possible – by helping others.Xavier McDonald

Xavier McDonald was a beautiful child. A happy, curious, wonderful 11-year-old boy. He was a kid who loved superheroes – so much so he named his pug Bruce Wayne. He enjoyed playing with his friends and always wanted to make people laugh. Sadly, Xavier passed away a couple weeks before his 12th birthday on November 13, 2022.

Xavier was a sixth grader at Westfield Intermediate School. He played the trumpet in the school band; he was a good student and he loved being with his family and friends.

Renee and Brandon treasure the moments they had with him. He was fiercely independent. With his amount of dedication, he never failed to amaze his parents on what he accomplished when he was ready. He developed his phrase, “I’m good” when he was being reluctant. He used it so often as he was a strong and energetic kid who could handle himself.

Xavier’s greatest joy was making people laugh. Once he got a laugh, he would do the same joke repeatedly. After Xavier passed, Renee and Brandon found an app downloaded on his school Chromebook, “101 Kid/Family-Friendly Jokes.” This brought so much joy to the McDonalds as they knew it was so important to Xavier to make others smile and laugh.

The amount of support from the community of Westfield has been a miracle for them since the loss of their son.

Xavier McDonald“We have unfortunately experienced what it is to learn that tomorrow is not promised,” Renee McDonald says. “We want others to be able to take full advantage of the time with their loved ones and not miss an opportunity to tell them how much they mean to you.”

With the support of the Westfield community and its school corporation, the McDonalds have established the Xavier John Memorial Fund. This scholarship demonstrates the love that Xavier’s parents, family, friends, teachers and community had for him.

The scholarship is set up through the Westfield Education Foundation and will be awarded to a Westfield High School graduating senior. This senior will demonstrate a positive contribution to society and growth or excellence in their academic or musical path.

The senior must provide a letter of recommendation from an educator or employer and enroll as a full-time student at an institution of higher education. The first scholarship will be awarded on May 25, 2023.

In addition to providing scholarships to high school seniors, the Xavier John Memorial Fund will also be providing support to students who are in need of instruments, band equipment or any financial assistance.

“The overwhelming amount of love from the community is what inspired us to give back,” Brandon McDonald says. “This scholarship is to honor the memory of Xavier and his love of the band.”Xavier McDonald

To apply for the Xavier John Memorial Scholarship, please visit For more information on Xavier’s memorial fund or to donate, visit Donating to the Xavier John Memorial Fund will help ensure that many other kids will be “all good” too.

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