WESTPORT - The town of Westport and people across Essex County said goodbye to a local icon Feb. 21 as a funeral was held for Donald L. McIntyre.
The man known simply as "Mac" to many passed away Feb. 13, just three days short of his 81st birthday. Born and raised in Crown Point, McIntyre spent the last 50 years of his life in Westport where he worked as a teacher, owner and partner of the Westport Marina, insurance agent, and real estate agent.
Dee Carroll, a resident of Westport, recalled the days when McIntyre would hold weekly barbecues at the marina, and lead songs with his guitar-playing.
"Then one time somebody stole Mac's guitar," she said. "That was a very sad day."
Now under the Carrolls' management, the marina still features Saturday night entertainment in McIntyre's honor, and serves barbecue chicken using his old secret recipe.
"He was always an outgoing, friendly person, wanting to make people feel welcome," Carroll said. "He was a real leader. He brought people together and really did a lot for the community."
McIntyre was heavily involved in the town and the region as a whole, having served as director of Essex County YMCA, YMCA Camp Gibson, and the Westport Ski Program. He was also involved in local government, becoming a village trustee and eventually mayor of Westport. In 1979 he was elected as town supervisor and remained in the office until 1998.
"He certainly loved Westport and devoted much of his life to working for the people of Westport," said current town supervisor, Dan Connell.
As supervisor, McIntyre was instrumetal in helping to establish the Westport/Allen Health Center in 1993, and contributed to the establishment of the renewed Westport boat launch Site and wastewater treatment facility. He also saw municipal water systems installed in the villages of Westport and Wadhams during his tenure.
McIntyre served as chairman of the Essex County Board of Supervisors from 1988-89, a place where he is still remembred fondly to this day.
"Don was a great guy, and when he spoke at the county, people listened to him," said Chesterfield Supervisor Gerald Morrow. "He always had the interest of the town and the county at heart."
Moriah Supervisor Tom Scozzafava said McIntyre was a great mentor during his early years on the board.
"Whenever Mac came into a room, he was guaranteed to bring a smile," recalled Scozzafava. "He was so full of optimism."
McIntyre's passing represents the end of an era in Westport, said Carroll.
"He will definitely be missed."