Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children


1933 to 1942

Orville McDonald

Orville D. McDonald was born on December 31, 1922. He was the youngest of seven children born to Frank and Rose McDonald, poor tenant farmers from Stillwater. When he was 4 years old, Orville’s mother died after a long illness. Orville’s father died after stepping on a rusty nail and contracting tetanus, because medical care was not an available option for the McDonalds.

With help from their pastor and Uncle Tom Collins, Orville and two of his siblings were admitted to the Oklahoma Baptist Orphans’ Home. People able and willing to help him succeed surrounded Orville.

Orville, who once had to eat kerosene-tainted oatmeal and turnips to survive, was able to eat steady, nutritious meals. The Maxeys showered him with love, guidance, and support while providing Orville with a good education, something he may not otherwise have been able to obtain.

Orville McDonald, attorney
Former resident and young attorney, Orville McDonald.

Orville gained acceptance to the U.S. Naval Academy, but an old football injury resulted in a disability discharge. Orville went on to finish college and successfully complete law school, then returned home and married his childhood sweetheart, Bettye, who grew up in the Home with Orville. The happy couple moved to Albuquerque, where they became successful real estate developers.

The McDonalds maintained relationships with the Maxeys and others, making frequent trips home a priority. In 1994 they returned to spend Thanksgiving with the Maxeys and stayed at the Waterford Hotel, located at NW 63rd and Pennsylvania Avenue, the original site of the Orphans’ Home. That night, Bettye passed away in her sleep, just feet away from the place she had slept as a child. Orville takes comfort knowing his wife was able to die in a place she had so loved to live.

Orville continues to be a part of the efforts of Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children. He is an example of a cheerful giver and remains a loyal and generous benefactor of Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children.

Orville D. "OD" McDonald passed from this world on October 11, 2014.

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