Morgan Francis McDonnell, Jr.
June 2, 1952 - August 23, 2021
- September 15, 2021 | 10:30 A.M.
St. John Neumann Catholic Church
2900 E. Main Street
St. Charles, Illinois 60174
On the morning of August 23rd, 2021, Morgan Francis McDonnell, Jr., age 69, of Wayne, IL, called out to St. Peter, telling him to close the pearly gates to Heaven. Atop one of his beloved thoroughbreds, he galloped up to the gates and jumped them instead, as he always knew how to make an entrance. A lifelong horseman who never let facts get in the way of a good story, Morgan spent years as a racehorse breeder, trainer, jockey, foxhunter, and Olympic qualifier. The oldest of six siblings, he lived in Wayne for almost all of his life, raised by parents Anne and Morgan McDonnell, Sr. He graduated from Georgetown University, and moved back to Chicago, where he batted his eyes at his future wife, Kappo Hart, across the room at Acorn on Oak on Valentine’s Day, asking a waiter to deliver his phone number to her. (She sent it back a day later, writing, “No, Valentine, you call me.”) Thirty-six years after they married, Morgan is survived by Kappo, their two daughters Martha and Kit, and his favorite racehorse, Are You Dancin’. Morgan is also survived by his five siblings Muffy Haley, Jim McDonnell, Mary Hull, Peter McDonnell, and David McDonnell. He was an accomplished painter, taking solace in his art after surviving cancer four times. One of his paintings hangs at Dunham Woods Riding Club, where he served a term as president, spent many summers on the tennis court, and once brought his miniature donkey, Moonpie, in for a spin around the ballroom. His favorite place on Earth was the family farm in western Illinois, where he would spend hours riding around on “Big Blue,” his 1976 tractor, in a big straw hat. He spent his life learning new things, never resting on his laurels, always seeking his next pursuit and adventure. A funeral mass will be held on September 15th at 10:30am at St. John Neumann Catholic Church in St. Charles, IL. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the wonderful equine rescue For the Love of a Slaughter Horse in Woodstock, IL, which reunited Morgan with one of his most loved horses.