Kevin M. McDonald "Big Drag" of Coventry Ohio passed away peacefully at 72 years old in hospice Friday, September 16th, 2022 surrounded by his most precious loved ones; his only child and devoted daughter Missy McDonald, Becky Goodson, Susan Dickey, and Carol Brazas Kilway, after battling ongoing complications of vascular dementia following a stroke.
Kevin is preceded in death by mother Mary Elizabeth McDonald, father Don McDonald, step-father Michael Brady, and brother Tim McDonald.
In addition to Missy, Becky, Susan and Carol, Kevin is also survived by brothers Dennis McDonald, Brian McDonald (Sue), and Dale Stroup, nieces and nephews Tim McDonald (Eve Lina), Brittany McDonald, Lauren McDonald, Scott McDonald, most faithful companions - his dachshunds Otie and Duke, as well as so many near and dear friends.
Kevin, born July 26, 1950, grew up in West Akron and attended Saint Sebastian and Saint Vincent schools, and then graduated from Buchtel High School. Later he became employed with BFGoodrich where he worked several years building tires in Akron until their relocation. He then became an entrepreneur in 1991 and proceeded to obtain three U.S. Patents and run very successful businesses thru 2021. Kevin had strong Faith, and was very proud to belong to his church, Wintergreen Ledges Church of God, for several years.
Kevin's fascination for cars and bikes began at 12 years old. He enjoyed building model cars with his brother Brian until he later built his first mini-bike at age 14. At age 16, he went to Dragway 42 and fell in love with dragsters and especially '37 Fiat Topolinos. His first job was at Skyway where he worked diligently to make enough money to fuel his passion and buy his first car. His love of engines didn't stop there. He later obtained a pilot's license and his daughter will never forget the flight on her 4th birthday. As a hobby, he crew-chiefed a Top Alcohol Funny Car called "Bad Moon Rising". He went on to build 4 cars from the ground up, and really enjoyed his most recent build, a nostalgic Top Fuel Front Engine Dragster named "Hooligan" that he ran on Nitro for spectators.
Kevin loved and took great pride in his toys. You could always find him on a motorcycle, in a hot rod, on a jet ski, in a boat and even flying overhead in a powered-parachute. He was a legend in the car scene of Northeast Ohio, starting many cruise-ins and car shows simply sitting in an empty lot in his home-built street rods attracting fellow rodders to gather and share their builds, great stories and laughs. Cruise-ins were his passion and he showed up religiously to meet new people, make new friends, hear his favorite music and see all of the various cars and customs that were there. He will especially be remembered for his home-built 1937 Fiat Topolino, "New Kid in Town" that he finished in 1982. He brought his childhood vision to life by hand, and it was featured in several magazines, newspapers, advertisements and artistry over the years.
Kevin sure loved animals and had a huge soft spot in his heart for them. He also loved the smell of nitro and burning rubber at the drag races. He captured the little moments in life - matching memories to old songs, sharing childhood stories, soaking in the sun and enjoying every bit of every summer. He influenced so many in the way of custom cars and the largest commonality people share is "He sure was smart". To watch a man sharp-as-a-tack succumb to the horrible disease of dementia has been heartbreaking for friends and family. He, however, kept his quick wit and humor until the very end.
Cremation will take place. Calling hours will be at Wintergreen Ledges Church of God at 1pm, Saturday, September 24th, with memorial services beginning at 2pm. The address of the church is 1889 Vernon Odom Blvd, Akron, OH 44320.
There will be a candle light vigil at Dragway 42, Tues, September 27th, 2022 beginning at 6pm at the start of the track. Parking will be in and near the staging lanes. Everyone attending can choose to say a few words to honor Kevin or share memories. Candles will be lit at dark as well as a few Chinese Lanterns. A drone will be capturing a video from the sky.
A Celebration of Life hot rod and bike parade will take place in the spring with details to follow on Facebook.