Douglas J. MacMaster Jr. of Ambler, Pa., died Feb. 11 at the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital surrounded by his family. He was 90.

Doug was a business leader and family patriarch, loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, exceptional lawyer and businessman, athlete, veteran, philanthropist, exquisite party planner, adventurer, and friend to many.

He was the beloved husband of the late Joan (MacLellan) MacMaster.

He was born in Boston on Sept. 20, 1930 to the late Douglas J., Sr. and Margaret (Peg) MacMaster. He was raised in Boston with his two late sisters, Katherine E. Greene and Jessica A. MacMaster. He graduated from English High in Boston where he was an all-city football player. He was recruited by many prestigious universities, but chose to attend St. Francis Xavier University (St. F.X.) in Nova Scotia, Canada, where he met the love of his life Joan. He was a standout rugby player and president of his senior class, the first in his family to graduate from college. After graduation in 1953, he served in the U.S. Army for two years where he was honorably discharged with the rank of corporal. After the military, Doug received his law degree from Boston College Law School in 1958, and went to work for the law firm Kelley, Drye & Warren in New York city.

In 1961, he accepted a position at Merck & Co. Inc, where he had a distinguished 30-year career, including as managing director of Merck Sharpe & Dohme (Australia and New Zealand) and president of Merck Sharpe and Dohme (USA and Canada). He retired in 1991. He served on numerous boards, including, Neose Technologies Inc., Martek Biosciences Corp., St. F. X., Gwynedd Mercy College, Stratton Mutual Funds, Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, and American Precision Instrument. He also served as president of the National Pharmaceutical Council.

In 1991, he was appointed to the board of trustees of Thomas Jefferson University where he served until 2015, including serving as chairman. When he retired from the board, he was appointed emeritus trustee. He received honorary degrees from St. F. X. and Gwynedd Mercy College.

He always felt his greatest accomplishment was his family. Despite a busy schedule, always made time to attend his children and grandchildren’s various activities. He founded the junior soccer league of Chatham Township, N.J., where he formerly lived, and coached the U-23 ice hockey team for New South Wales, Australia. He was the resident short-order cook for his children, grandchildren, and friends on Sunday mornings after mass. He enjoyed spending summers on the Vineyard, surrounded by family and friends. One of the highlights was leading his family, Team MacMaster, in the annual Chilmark Road Race, followed by a clambake at his house.

He is survived by five children, 21 grandchildren and three great grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife, Joan, and his granddaughter Katie MacMaster.

A funeral mass was held on Feb. 16 in Pennsylvania. Interment was in Whitemarsh Memorial Park.

Donations can be made to Joan and Doug MacMaster Scholarship Fund, St. Francis Xavier University, P.O. Box 5000, Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada B2G2W5.

Arrangements are under the care of Ciavarelli Family Funeral Homes.

For online guestbook, visit