Cover photo for Dr. Charles Richard McDonald Jr.'s Obituary
Dr. Charles Richard McDonald Jr. Profile Photo

Dr. Charles Richard McDonald Jr.

May 4, 1939 — August 26, 2023

Dr. Charles Richard McDonald Jr.

Charles Richard McDonald, Jr., 84, passed away August 26, 2023.   He was the beloved husband of Jo Hale McDonald for 7 years.  Charles was the father of one child, Richard Scott McDonald (Leazel Fields) and two stepchildren, Teri Hale Weber (Steve) and Trish Hale Botoff (Ron).  He is also survived by two grandchildren, Tucker Richard McDonald and McKenzie McDonald-Christensen (Andrew) along with two step-grandchildren, Scott Weber, Haley Weber (Sarah) , great-grandchild, Nora Weber and nephew Donovan McDonald (Claudine).

He was predeceased by his parents, Charles Richard McDonald, Sr and Leuna Poda McDonald, step-father, Leon Dyer, wife, Patsy Crain McDonald and his brother, Donnie McDonald. 

Charles was born May 4, 1939 in Jonesboro-Hodge, La, and spent most of his childhood in Holly Ridge, La.  He graduated from Holly Ridge High School in 1957 and Northeast Louisiana State College (now ULM) in 1961.  Immediately following his graduation from NLSC he entered the U. S. Army commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant.  He spent 2 years in Germany during the Berlin Wall Crisis and was honorably discharged in 1965.  Charles then began his career in Oak Grove, La as teacher and coach at Oak Grove High School.  He later served as coach, teacher, and administrator in several schools in Bastrop, La before earning his Master’s Degree in Education Administration and EDd from ULM.  Charles spent more than 20 years at ULM serving as Director of Financial Aid, Counseling and Placement in addition to teaching a variety of classes.  He then began a career in politics serving as Louisiana State Representative in 1991.  He faithfully served his constituents for the next 15 years, involving himself in legislation that continues to positively impact northeast Louisiana.  He served as Chairman of the House Education Committee along with a coveted role on the Appropriation Committee.   Among his most notable achievements was as lead Author of the Tuition Opportunity Program (TOPS).  TOPS is recognized as the most significant piece of legislation authored to support Louisianians attending post-secondary education.  More than 58,000 students now utilize TOPS to support their efforts in pursuing post-secondary education.

Following his political career, Charles formed his own company, CMAC and Associates providing consultant services to several businesses and municipalities.  As a small business owner, he also invested in other companies including Freedom Mobility, LLC.  Through Freedom Mobility he was proud to be part of a partnership that provided more than 250 all-terrain wheelchairs to customers.  Many of those wheelchairs are owned by military veterans.

In 2017, he was honored to be appointed to the Louisiana Board of Regents serving all colleges and universities in the state.  He served in that capacity until his term expired December 31, 2022. 

In recognition of his service to the university, legislative accomplishments and Regent appointment, Charles was honored by ULM by having the university’s Financial Aid Suite renamed “Dr. Charles R. McDonald Financial Aid Suite”.  He has been acknowledged and honored by many different groups for his dedication, integrity, and ability to lead.

Charles was a longtime member of the ULM Athletic Foundation, ULM Alumni Association and was honored by ULM as a “Golden Arrow Award” recipient.

He was most proud of his rural roots, growing up in Holly Ridge, earning an opportunity to attend ULM and credits the U. S. Army for making a significant difference in his life.  It afforded the “country boy” an opportunity to see the world, learn how to lead people and give him confidence to tackle any situation.

The family would like to thank the staff at St. Joseph Hospice and special heartfelt appreciation to Kim Butler.

Service for Charles will be held at First Methodist Monroe on Wednesday, August 30 at 10:00 am.  Visitation will be held at Mulhearn Funeral Home on Tuesday, August 29  from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dr. Charles Richard McDonald Jr., please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Mulhearn Funeral Home - Monroe

2308 Sterlington Road, Monroe, LA 71203

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Funeral Service

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

First Methodist Church-Monroe

3900 Loop Road, Monroe, LA 71201

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Graveside Service

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

Bethel Baptist Church Cemetery

89 Bethel Church Rd, Rayville, LA 71269

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Interment

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Bethel Baptist Church Cemetery

89 Bethel Church Rd, Rayville, LA 71269

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