Born in Grapevine, TX on July 28,1931, Arthur “JR” McDonald Jr. was raised and adored by his father and mother, Arthur Rodolfus McDonald and Henry Lee Keener McDonald. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister Willie Faye McDonald Jordan, who was his best friend growing up. JR cherished the memories of his childhood spent with cousins, playing on the farm. JR loved to tell stories of the past about his life’s adventures.
Always a good student with a strong work ethic, JR graduated from Carrollton High School in 1949. He then moved to the city to take a job with Dallas Office Supply. It was during this time that he met Alice, his beloved wife. JR married Alice May Dean at the First Baptist Church in Duncanville, Texas on May 23, 1959. The couple had four children together, James, Judith, Jeffrey, and Alice and they share eight grandchildren, Jacob, Jessica, and Julia McDonald, Clayton and Dustin Gasser, John McDonald, and Rachel Donaldson Hughes and Thomas Donaldson. JR was a true family man, always putting his loved ones before himself.
JR made a career transition in 1968 to start his own dairy farm and worked two jobs trying to get it off the ground. He raised his own herd of cattle from the bottle and grew it from just four calves to over 500 head. Making this farming operation work was his greatest passion. He took deep pride in providing well for his family, and he loved being an entrepreneur and self-reliant man. He was so proud as his farm took off and his family continued to grow.
The farm thrived in its original location in Coppell, Texas, and in 1979, JR decided to relocate his dairy operation and his family to Hico, Texas. He considered the work of the farm land in Hico one of his greatest accomplishments. He embraced the challenges of his job and always found a way. In Hico, he settled well into the land and would call his ranch home for the next 40 years. On a special last visit to the ranch this September, JR saluted his beloved land in reverence and gratitude.
JR also took naturally to entertaining. Music was his joy! Descending from a long line of fiddle players (both his dad and grandad played) he loved playing Bluegrass and Texas Swing. With his fiddle, he often entertained his children, extended family, and those living in nursing homes. For over 35 years, he used fiddle music to bring smiles to many faces of those he loved and those whose lives were less fortunate than his.
JR was a strong Christian man. He was a 50 year + member of the James A. Smith No. 395 Masonic Lodge. He was a Scottish Rite Mason and a member of Hella Shrine Temple. JR served in the United States Army during the Korean war conflict. He had a deep desire to do good and right. He loved to live simply and give to charitable causes. You could always count on him to lend a helping hand when needed, and he was truly one of the most humble, selfless, trustworthy, and generous men you could ever meet.
JR lived a full life. He was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, cousin, uncle, and friend. He will be remembered for his strong Christian faith, his generosity, kindness, and humor, his love of fiddle music, and mostly his care for his family and friends. He was always wearing a smile and carried himself with a stubborn optimism and a deep gratitude for life. He will be lovingly missed by all those who knew him. He leaves us with a long-lasting legacy of love and self-sacrifice for which we are eternally grateful.
Funeral Service and Celebration of Life: 1:00 p.m., Friday, September 24, 2021 in the Chapel of First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth, 800 W. 5th St., Fort Worth, Texas 76102. Visitation: 12:00 p.m., Friday in the Chapel at FUMC, FW prior to the funeral service. Burial will take place in Hilltop Cemetery in Carrollton, Texas.
Memorials: In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to St. Jude's Children's Hospital, www.stjude.org.
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