Donnie Ray McArthur
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Our beloved Dad, Donnie Ray McArthur, went home to his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, on July 12, 2022. He passed peacefully in the presence of his two daughters at his residence in Waco, Texas. He was 83 years old.
A celebration of Donnie's life will be held on Saturday, July 23, at 10:00 am at Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey funeral home in Waco, Texas. Pastor Roger Huff will officiate. Burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery. Visitation will precede the service from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m.
Donnie was born on May 17, 1939, in Woodward, Oklahoma, to Everett and Mattie Darden McArthur. He was the youngest of their five children. He spent his early years in Sharon, Okla., and Mangum, Okla. Eventually, his family settled in Hobart, Okla., where Donnie met the love of his life, Charlene Heiney. They married on August 23, 1959.
In 1957, Donnie graduated from Hobart Senior High School and went on to pursue his education at Southwestern Oklahoma State University and his dream of becoming a dentist. He graduated in 1959, completing his studies in just two years. That same year, he entered Baylor College of Dentistry and was the youngest student ever to be accepted into the program. Along with Charlene's help, Donnie put himself through dental school by working nights as a hospital orderly. After earning his doctorate at Baylor in 1963, Donnie enlisted in the Army and was stationed at Fort Wolters in Mineral Wells, Texas, with the rank of Captain. In 1964, while at Fort Wolters, Donnie and Charlene welcomed their first daughter, Misty. Upon completion of his military service in 1965, the young family moved to Guthrie, Okla., where Donnie practiced general dentistry until 1970. In 1966, they welcomed their second daughter, Cindy.
Donnie eventually decided to pursue a postdoctoral degree in orthodontics at St. Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri. Upon completion of the program in 1972, the family settled in Tulsa. That same year, Donnie opened what would become a successful and thriving solo orthodontic practice in Tulsa and satellite offices in Broken Arrow, Okla., and Sand Springs, Okla. He would go on to practice in these communities for over 35 years.
Following his retirement, Donnie and Charlene moved from Tulsa to Waco, to be near their daughter Cindy and their two grandchildren. However, Donnie missed working and decided to resume practicing orthodontics in Texas. He worked part-time for several years in the Dallas Fort Worth area before finally retiring permanently in 2016 at the age of 78.
Donnie had many hobbies and interests. He had a life-long fondness for classic cars, especially his 1955, '56, and '57 Ford Thunderbirds, and was a former member of the Tulsa Classic Thunderbird Club. He greatly enjoyed antique shopping with Charlene, coin and stamp collecting, casting jewelry for family and friends, and watching college basketball. On many mornings, he could be found hanging out with his buddies from the Harris Creek "breakfast club" where he forged many cherished friendships.
Donnie's final years were marked with significant health challenges, which he faced with great courage, quiet determination, and persistent resilience. Despite his suffering, he never gave up and remained positive. He will be remembered for his kindness, generosity, and gentle nature, as well as his outgoing, bubbly personality. He knew no strangers and made friends wherever he went. His passing has left a hole in the hearts of those who love him, and he will be missed more than words can express.
Donnie was preceded in death by Charlene, his beloved wife of 58 years; his parents; and his siblings, Glenn, Gale, June, and Bobby.
He is survived by his two daughters, Misty Homlitas and husband, Doug, of Vernonia, Oregon, and Cindy Dickson and husband, Doug, of Waco; two grandchildren, Jacob Dickson and Aubrie Dickson; brother-in-law, Bobby Heiney of Hobart, Okla., and several nieces and nephews.
The family wishes to extend their heartfelt thanks to Donnie's physical therapists, Debbie and Nancy, his devoted Right at Home caregivers Angela, Rose, Brittney, and Angel, and all the healthcare professionals of AccentCare Home Health and Hospice for their compassionate care during the final months and days of Donnie's life.
Fond memories and online condolences can be shared on the "Tribute Wall" at www.WHBfamily.com.