Evidence of Granger MacDonald’s love of family and community is well-documented in photos on the walls of his office, which highlight both professional accomplishments and share personal memories.
From meetings with Presidents Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and Donald Trump to candid shots of his children and grandchildren, as well as a tribute to Kerr-View Dairy Farm, his family homestead that dates back multiple generations in Kerr County, Granger’s story and heart are evident.
Granger passed away suddenly on June 17, leaving behind a legacy that will live on through the impact he made on his children, grandchildren and the Kerrville community.
Granger, who owns the real estate development firm MacDonald Companies with his son, Justin, first began his career working for his mother, Jean, in the family’s home building business while he was still in college.
Granger’s college research project molded the future of the company and he and his mother became partners building multi-family homes in rural areas of Texas.
“Back in the 1980s, they began studying housing needs, because the economy had suffered,” Granger’s son, Justin, said. “During this time, they realized rural towns had a real need for affordable housing for their workforce and that’s when they changed the direction of the company and began building multi-family projects.”
In Kerrville, MacDonald is responsible for building four multi-family, affordable housing complexes. A fifth project is currently under construction.
Providing homes for families was important to Granger.
At the time of his death, Granger was serving on a City of Kerrville’s Mayor’s Taskforce on affordable housing as well as serving on the board of Habitat for Humanity.
While Granger and his mother could have lived anywhere and run their business, they chose to live in Kerrville.
“I think it was like in 1988 that they both decided they were ready to move to the family homestead and we all just love it here,” Justin said.
Granger was successful in business, for sure, but he believed in giving back to the community in many ways and his love for the Kerr County area was appreciated by all that worked with him.
“I am very saddened about the passing of Granger MacDonald. He was a good man and loved this community. Kerrville has lost one of its most gracious, caring, and responsive leaders,” Kerrville City Manager Mark McDaniel said.
Mayor Bill Blackburn said he will miss his friend.
“I enjoyed being around Granger. He was personable, funny, bright, and he knew how to listen,” Blackburn said. “Granger could talk ideas, especially how to help people, and you were aware that this big man was also a big thinker. He knew how to turn ideas into reality and that is what he did his entire life as a builder.”
Kerr County Sheriff Rusty Hierholzer said people probably didn’t realize the life-long connection Granger had to Kerr County, saying it was that connection that inspired the affordable housing projects and the senior living complex.
“Two of those apartment complexes are right by our office. I see them every day. They were much-needed for lower income families,” Hierholzer said. “The second complex was built for senior citizens. He saw the need and he found a solution and our community is better for it.”
Hierholzer said Granger was a friend, one whom he will miss,
“What Granger and his family have done for this community is nothing short of remarkable,” Hierhozler said. “He will be truly missed. He was a great man.”
Granger’s obituary (See Page 15) details many accomplishments, but says, “Perhaps his favorite accomplishment, however, was service to his fellow homebuilders. He spent countless hours and traveled the state and the country on behalf of the Texas Affiliation of Affordable Housing Providers, Texas Association of Builders and National Association of Home Builders. He eventually held the top leadership roles in all three of those organizations and treasured the time he spent with them and the lifelong friendships that he formed along the way. One of his proudest moments was being inducted into the Texas Housing Hall of Honor in 2019.”
After moving back to Kerrville, Granger served on the board of the Upper Guadalupe River Authority, the Board of Trustees of Schreiner University, the board of Habitat for Humanity, and on the Vestry of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.