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Feb. 27, 1934 - July 13, 2013

Charles Norman McDonnell, 79, of Fredericksburg, passed away at home, July 13, 2013, surrounded by his loving family.
Norman was born Feb. 27, 1934 in San Diego, Calif., to Charles and Phyllis McDonnell. He graduated from San Diego State University with bachelor's and master's degrees. He was a high school teacher in many subjects for more than 30 years.
Norm's passion in life was his horses. He trained and showed all his life, riding until the very end. He trained many champion horses as well as won many stock horse/reining championships. He then went on to train many winning barrel racing horses for his loving daughter, MaryAnn. They spent many, many hours together working, hauling down the road to races and always working to make their dreams come true.
Norm is survived by his children's mother, Judy McDonnell of Fredericksburg; his daughter, MaryAnn McDonnell Crooks and her husband, Eric Crooks of Fredericksburg; his son, Michael Norman McDonnell of San Antonio; his beloved granddaughter, Victoria Leigh Crooks (Tori) of Fredericksburg, and a sister, Maureen McDonnell of San Diego, Calif.
He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Denis McDonnell.
Norm was known as a true one of a kind HORSEMAN. He had a unique quirky personality, a great humor, and friendly way about him that drew many people in. The last four years, ten months, he has loved, worshipped and adored watching (his little angel) granddaughter Tori grow up. He was given less than six months to live four years ago due to his cancer and he told the doctors he wasn't going anywhere. He said that he was staying to see his Tori grow up. During those years, the two made a bond that Tori will never forget!
A memorial service is planned for a later date.
Arrangements are under the direction of Schaetter Funeral Home of Fredericksburg.

Published in Imperial Valley Press Online on July 17, 2013
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