It was with immense sadness that we learned of Rev. DK Macleod's passing on the 23rd December last year.
Mr Macleod had been a Free Church Minister in Kingussie Free Church and Moderator of the General Assembly in 1998.
A prepared tribute has been provided by the family below.
Donald Kenneth Macleod (DK)
DK recently said Psalm 71v 17 summed up his life:
'For even from my youth, O God,
by thee I have been taught;
And hitherto I have declar'd
the wonders thou hast wrought.'
Donald Macleod was born in Glasgow, one of five children, although the only son, of Rev. John Macleod (known as 'the OBE', for the decoration awarded for his military service in World War 1) and Isobel Maclean, only child of Rev. Professor and Mrs Donald Maclean. His mother was nicknamed Una by some humourist who noted she was the first child born into a Free Church manse after the traumatic union of 1900 which left the Free Church with only 27 ministers, nearly all based in the Highlands. The name stuck and his mother was known in later days as Mrs Una.
After his father's death in 1939 the family moved to Edinburgh, although during World War 2 much time was spent in Lochcarron and Kishorn. That Wester Ross connection was important throughout his life. Converted aged 16 at camp, he became a communicant member in 1950 and was later an elder in Ardelve.
Determined he was not for the ministry DK, after national service in the Royal Artillery, entered agricultural college and then took a range of farming jobs of increasing responsibility with the dream one day of running his own farm.
He was introduced by his sister Bunty to a fellow nurse, Christina (Nina) MacDonald, one of four daughters of Rev. and Mrs AA MacDonald of Struan. DK and Nina were married in the Free North on 29 March 1956.
DK and Nina's marriage was loving, happy, devoted and long. Their family grew, with three children, twelve grand-children and recently their first great grand-daughter was born. In old age they supported each other until Nina's increasing frailty made it necessary for her to receive full time care.
Despite his love of Balmacara, where he was then farm manager, DK felt an increasing conviction of a call to the ministry although Nina and he were well aware of the sacrifices and challenges this would involve. He was accepted as a candidate and after six years of study was ordained and inducted to the charge of Kingussie Free Church on 14 August 1967. From that day DK Macleod's joy was to preach and present the good news of the Saviour to the congregation and community. There was, for him, no greater thrill than to know of sinners turning to Jesus. A friend commented,
'He was a Christian in whom the working of the Spirit was so evident. I owe my faith to your Mum and Dad.'
DK and Nina were known for their hospitality to visitors from across the church and indeed much further afield. Another friend said, 'We remember happy times spent in the Kingussie manse and your parents' great warmth and kindness to us all. What a gracious witness they both were to Christ and a blessing to know.'
DK also served the church as Presbytery clerk and Chairman of the Foreign Missions Board, he led youth camps and in 1998 was Moderator of the General Assembly. He was also chairman of the Leprosy Mission in Scotland.
After recovering from a near fatal car accident DK retired from Kingussie in 1993.
Settling in Inverness he continued to serve with interim moderatorships and preaching over 1,500 times after his retirement. DK loved the public worship of God. The Lord's Day was the highlight of the week and only serious illness or hospitalisation kept him from church. To him it was a privilege to sit under Gospel preaching and to celebrate the sacraments. He relished discussion of the Scriptures and the fellowship of believers. As another wrote, 'What a wonderful man. Learned so much from him in many ways'.
DK was brave. He once jumped out of a lorry to go into a field to separate two fighting bulls, with the words, 'You're the cattleman, Donald' being the only support from the other farm workers. And that was not the only time he faced down an angry bull. Moral courage was also needed in defending truth while striving for harmony and unity. Comments from colleagues have included phrases like, 'he was a wise and patient man' and, 'a man of gentleness and a calm demeanour'.
DK enjoyed sport such as rugby, shinty and snooker. He loved the outdoors and climbed many of our highest mountains, especially in the Cairngorms, and won a local prize for one of his photographs. His prayers on the hills breathed worship of their Creator and his experiences often emerged as illustrations in his preaching.
DK overcame several brushes with serious ill health. And although in his prime physically powerful and vigorous, he bore the infirmities and indignities of advancing years with uncomplaining cheerfulness. He often quoted at these times,
'Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee.' (Isaiah 26:3).
He was practical and loved making things work. In old age he remained keen on technology moving from PC to I-Pad to Smartphone. DK's WhatsApp messages were humorous and encouraging to family and friends.
To the end of his days DK was devoted in Bible Study and prayer, keeping the daily worship routines he and Nina had established decades before. He also continued to read his favourite authors such as Alec Motyer, Dale Ralph Davis and CS Lewis. McCheyne's Jehovah Tsidkenu (the Lord our Righteousness)also meant much to him. It ends,
Even treading the valley, the shadow of death,
This watchword shall rally my faltering breath;
For while from life’s fever my God sets me free,
Jehovah Tsidkenu, my death song shall be.
DK Macleod lived a long, full and happy life seeking to serve his Lord and Saviour. Those who loved him, and they were many, know that he succeeded.
His testimony near the end of his life was, 'The Lord has dealt wondrously graciously with me and it is a joy to be able still to declare the wonders He has wrought'.