Donna Lee Norcross passed away Monday, July 30, 2018, after a very sudden diagnosis of pancreatic cancer in Ames, Iowa. A memorial service will be held 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8, at Grace United Methodist Church, 624 S Elm Ave., Story City, with a visitation from 10 to 11:30 a.m. prior to the service. Soderstrum Funeral Home is assisting the family.
Donna was born Jan. 26, 1941, in Webster City to Howard and Arris (Brown) Richardson. She was raised on the “Richardson Prairie Farm” east of Webster City. After graduating from Webster City high school in 1958, the family purchased and moved to the present farm just south of Story City.
She attended junior college at Webster City Junior College, Stephens College, Columbia, Mo., and Iowa State University.
She married Robert Norcross, June 6, 1966, in Story City. She worked as a bank officer in Algona, Luverne and Huxley for many years until her husband’s death in 1989. She was a bookkeeper for Heart of Iowa Coop starting in 1990 (and later Key Cooperative) until she retired in 2015.
When Donna was three years old, her parents decided she needed a pony and the start of the Royal Pony Farm was created with ponies named “Queeny and King.” That was the beginning of a love affair with Shetland ponies and resulted in the buildup of a herd that numbered 100-150 through the years. Donna moved to a five-acre farm a few miles west of Roland, continuing the Royal Pony Farm which her father had started, to raise registered Shetland ponies. She was a former president of the American Shetland Pony Club and American Miniature Horse Association. She won multiple awards and recognitions showing her ponies. In her younger days, Donna liked to play golf and snowmobile with her husband, Bob. Donna was a feisty, independent women that worked hard and was proud to be a farm girl and not afraid to get a little dirty.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert Norcross; father, Howard Richardson; brother-in-law and fellow pony enthusiast, Robert Moore. She is survived by her mother, Arris Richardson of Story City, Iowa, and Amarillo, Texas; sister and owner of Royal Pony Ranch, Shirley Moore, of Amarillo, Texas, and brother, Brian (Janet) Richardson, of Story City; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the America Shetland Pony Club, address 81-B East Queenwood Road, Morton, IL 61550.