Chelsey McDonald Obituary

Sterling City News Record Sunday, January 17, 1993

Chesley McDonald

Sterling City--  Chesley McDonald, a longtime Sterling city rancher and member of Abilene Christian University's Board of Trustees, died Friday at his home.

Funeral services will be at 2 p.m Monday at O.T. Jones Auditorium in Sterling City, directed by Ross Funeral Home.

"There are few people who have meant as much to the growth of the church in West Texas as the McDonalds." said then- ACU president Dr. William J. Teague when McDonald and his wife, Cecile, received ACU's Christian Service Award in 1989. "They have dedicated their lives to serving others with kindness, love and devotion".

Teague said the McDonalds, both 1940 graduates, provided many years of service to their alma mater and to the Church of Christ and the people of Sterling city, where Cecile was born and raised.

He was born May 18, 1918 in Magnolia. At ACU, he lettered three years on the football team as a halfback, served as president of the student body and president of the "A" Club men's honor fraternity. He also was a member  of Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.

The McDonald's met as ACU juniors and married Aug. 23, 1940, in Sterling City-- shortly after each  had received a business degree from ACU.

He volunteered for the U.S. Army in 1942 and served in the states for 49 months. He later coached at Anson and Colorado City, then served as a coach and high school principal in Sterling City.

He subsequently joined his father-in-law on the ranch near Sterling City, a ranch homesteaded by  Mrs. McDonald's grandfather in 1889. the McDonalds raised Hereford cattle and Rambouillet sheep on the family ranch spread across five counties.

The McDonalds opened their home to many preachers and missionaries through the years and also helped numerous students attend ACU. They also brought several children into their home when they needed a loving place to stay.

In 1970 the McDonalds were chosen as the Outstanding Family of the Year in Sterling City.

Because of his athletic contributions to ACU and continued success in his career, McDonald was nominated in 1964 for a Sports Illustrated Silver Anniversary All-Americ Award, one of only six nominated from Texas. He was the third person added to ACU's Sports Hall of Fame  with a Lifetime
Achievement Award in 1990.

In 1972, McDonald was the first recipient of an ACU Alumni Citation. in 1975, he was named the university's Outstanding Alumnus of the Year.

McDonald later served on ACU's Board of Development and National Development council and had been a trustee since 1974. All three of their children graduated from ACU.

Nearly 20 years ago, McDonald said something about ACU that reflects the way he lived his life: " The influence ACU had had in the lives of so many people doesn't show up in the headlines. Some of its graduates have been outstanding and received headlines, but the real strength of the university
is in the individual lives of students who are now responsible citizens, church leaders, Christian parents:

McDonald never sought headlines, but worked quietly in his community and church throughout his life.

He was past president of the Lions, Club, past commander of the American Legion Post 537 and a permanent member of the Sterling City Livestock Show Association. Hew as selected an honorary member of the Texas Hereford Association.

He also was an honorary member of the Texas Future Farmers of American and active in other community roles a Red Cross chairman, summer recreation program director, County Agriculture Service Committee chairman and District Football Coaches and Official Association chairman.

From 1952-1970 her served on the Sterling city school board. He was an elder in the Church of Christ at Sterling City for 33 years, taught Bible Classes for many years and preached when needed.

Survivors include his wife of Sterling City; a son, Dr. Don R. McDonald of Salado; two daughters, Celia Davis of Abilene and Jeanie Bird of San Angelo; two brothers, J.B. McDonald of Little Rock, Ark., and Orville McDonald of Dallas; two sisters, Violet Irwin of Evermand and Mildred Rice of Baytown; eight grandchildren, Kevin, Greg and Nicole McDonald, Heath Hughes, Hayley Mason, Jena Allen and Will and Wesley Davis.

Submitted by Beverly Dunn Howard on March 12, 2005.

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