ETX family remembers daughter, shares 'heart' after tragic accid - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

ETX family remembers daughter, shares 'heart' after tragic accident

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VAN ZANDT COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -

Mallory Norrell of Canton was described by her family as a young woman who was laid back and fun, and one who had a special call for serving people.

She died 15 months ago in a car accident, and her family is carrying on her call in life through a new foundation named Mallory's Heart that is helping the people of El Salvador every day.

"Mallory was loyal. If you were a friend of Mallory's, you were a friend. She would protect you. She would sit down and talk with you. She was the shoulder you could cry on," says her father, Gary Norrell.

"At home and with her good friends, she was laughter, jokes. Her and Jordan would replay movie lines and lines of songs and just poke at each other. I just remember a lot of laughter," says her mother, Marcelyn Norrell.

Mallory Norrell was a Junior at Baylor University, a photography major with a mission, when she was killed in a car accident in December 2010.

"Even though it's a parent's worst fear that you'll get that call, you still don't -- I didn't expect to hear those words. I figured maybe she was hurt, she got separated from her phone, whatever. But when you hear someone tell you that, it's hard to accept," says Gary. "It's hard to grasp that it's possible, because Mallory had a call on her life."

That call started when Mallory wrote a paragraph in her first grade class and read it aloud in a school assembly.

"She wanted to be a missionary because it would be fun, and she would need a car with a lot of gas, and I need a Bible to tell people about Jesus and it would be fun to go around the world," says Marcelyn. "So Gary and I looked at each other and I said, Have you heard her say that before? He said no. I said, well I haven't either."

Her family says she never wavered in her commitment to go overseas, and that she was especially drawn to serving in Central America.

"There was something different about El Salvador. It really captured her heart. The people there did. And she went back several times," says Gary.

Her plan was to move to El Salvador after she graduated from Baylor University and serve the people there through her photography.

"Every parent wants their kids to be better than they are, and Mallory had qualities that were just, for someone 21 years old, were just amazing," says Gary. "The way she looked at life and the way she, the things that she had grasped at such an early age. The importance of things, the importance of family, the importance of friends, it was just her life."

Mallory called El Salvador "where my heart belongs and the people who hold it."

And her family has taken up her dream to start her foundation to help the people of the town of Comasagua that Mallory especially loved.

For more information on how to get involved in sharing Mallory's Heart and vision, visit her website at www.mallorysheart.com.

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