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327 West King Street
Martinsburg, WV 25401
Phone: 304-263-8896
Fax: 304-263-9248
Norma McDonald

Norma McDonald

Thursday, August 10th, 1933 Sunday, September 15th, 2019

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Obituary for Norma Jean McDonald (Smallwood)

A life well read - - this phrase describes Norma Jean Smallwood McDonald. From the time she first got her library card to the end of her life, she would read anything. As a young girl, she favored romance novels but at the end she gravitated towards the mystery genre, especially murder mysteries. It certainly is no mystery that she was well loved by her family and friends. Norma died at her home under the wonderful care of Hospice of the Panhandle on Sunday, September 15, 2019.

Born on August 10, 1933, she was the only child of Gladys and Russell Smallwood. However, Norma developed life-long friendships with her Winchester Avenue School girls: Teresa Nicklin, Clara Ward, Jean Best, Joe Ann Knauss, and Marion Normandy.

After graduating as Valedictorian of the Martinsburg High School Class of 1951, Norma started attending Shepherd College with the plan of becoming a biology teacher. Her plans changed when she met her future husband, Ernie McDonald, while she was working at the Farmers’ Dairy on Addition Street in Martinsburg. Norma and Ernie were married on March 8, 1952, and they built their life together at their farm Rocky Mead in Arden. The biggest part of that life included their four children: Susan McDonald Vetter, J. R. McDonald, Andrew McDonald, and Arden McDonald Tryon.

When she married Ernie, Norma became a member of Arden United Methodist Church. Her faith led her to serve others both in the church and in the community. She served the church by being a Sunday School teacher as well as being part of various church committees.

While her children were in school, Norma devoted most of her time and attention to her children and their activities. During their elementary school years, she was active in PTA and was a homeroom mother. As they moved to high school, she became active in the Musselman Band Parents, where she was active in fundraising. Every Friday during football season you could find her running the concession stand, frying french fries, and cheering on the Musselman Applemen especially when her sons were playing. Norma was also a dedicated leader of the Arden 4-H Club and a West Virginia 4-H All Star. She served as a camp counsellor and helped in many fundraising activities. In addition, Norma often drove not only her children and grandchildren, but also their friends to practices, games, competitions, and camps.

After Ernie died in 2010, Norma continued to be a strong, independent woman who lived life on her own terms. She continued her trips to the Martinsburg/Berkeley County library every three weeks and was often reading two books at a time; one upstairs and one downstairs. To fill her time, Norma became involved in the Arden Tabler CEOS where she served as the club secretary.

Norma is survived by her children: Susie and Moe Vetter, J.R. and Sandy McDonald, Andrew McDonald, Arden and Ed Tryon, and daughter-in-law, Tammy McDonald. She will be greatly missed by her grandchildren: Megan McDonald, Kelley and Eric Wilkerson, Michael and Brittny McDonald, Morgan and Ashlee McDonald, Riker McDonald, Karina McDonald, Dylan Tryon, Sam and Courtney Tryon, and Claire Tryon; and her great-grandchildren: Alexa, Charlotte, and Rosemary McDonald, and Leia and Miles Wilkerson. She will be missed by the “Old Biddies” - her sisters-in-law: June and Willie McDonald, Kathleen Merceruio, and Alice Cogle, as well as many nieces and nephews and her Caravan Card Ladies.

Family receiving friends Thursday, September 19, 2019 from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM and 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM at Brown Funeral Home South Berkeley Chapel in Inwood.

Funeral services will be held on Friday, September 20, 2019 at 1:00 PM at Arden United Methodist Church with Pastor Sam Tryon officiating.

In lieu of flowers, please send memorial donations to the Martinsburg/Berkeley County Public Library 101 King Street, Martinsburg, WV 25401; the Camp Frame Association c/o Sandy Davis 13828 Apple Harvest Dr. Martinsburg, WV 25403; or Hospice of the Panhandle 330 Hospice Lane, Kearnseysville, WV 25430

To send flowers to the family of Norma Jean McDonald (Smallwood), please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Thursday, September 19th, 2019 | 3:00pm - 5:00pm
    South Berkeley Chapel of Brown Funeral Home
    287 Arden Nollville Road
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email |
    Thursday, September 19th, 2019
    3:00pm - 5:00pm
  • Second Visitation

    Thursday, September 19th, 2019 | 7:00pm - 9:00pm
    South Berkeley Chapel
    287 Arden Nollville Road
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email |
    Thursday, September 19th, 2019
    7:00pm - 9:00pm
  • Service

    Friday, September 20th, 2019 | 1:00pm
    Arden United Methodist Church
    4464 Arden Nollville Rd.
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email |
    Friday, September 20th, 2019
  • Interment

    Arden United Methodist Church Cemetery
    4464 Arden Nollville Road
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email |

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Lesli and Todd and Charlie Bill & Stephanie McDonald & family. have sent flowers to the family of Norma Jean McDonald (Smallwood).
Hand delivered by a local florist
Lesli and Todd and Charlie Bill & Stephanie McDonald & family. have sent flowers to the family of Norma Jean McDonald (Smallwood).
Hand delivered by a local florist

Robin Staubs

I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your mom. Take solace in that she has reunited with Ernie and is at peace. The family is in my prayers.
Comment | Posted at 07:22pm via Condolence

Derek Slonaker

Andy, I'm sorry to hear of the passing of your mom. I'm looking forward to meeting her, one day. She was quite a lady. May God send His Comforter to you, family members and friends.
Comment | Posted at 04:23am via Condolence

Betty Raffaele Cuthbert

With our deepest sympathy in your loss. She is resting in peace now. God bless the whole family. Bob &Betty Cuthbert
Comment | Posted at 07:49pm via Condolence

Lesli and Todd

Megan, May your heart always cherish beautiful memories of your beloved Grandma Norma. With sympathy and love.
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Lesli and Todd purchased flowers for the family of Norma McDonald.
Comment | Posted at 03:08pm via Floral Arrangements

Charlie Bill & Stephanie McDonald & family.

With heartfelt condolences,
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Memorial Flowers Purchased

Charlie Bill & Stephanie McDonald & family. purchased flowers for the family of Norma McDonald.
Comment | Posted at 06:33am via Floral Arrangements

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