May 22, 2013

William J Donnell

PLATTSBURGH — William J. Donnell, Sr. 90, of Victoria House in Plattsburgh, passed away on Sunday May 19, 2013 at CVPH Medical Center in Plattsburgh. He was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Feb. 16, 1923, the son of Robert and Josephine (Skelly) Donnell.

Bill was a Sergeant in the U.S. Army Infantry, during World War II. Having received various medals, including the Bronze Star and Two Purple Hearts for action during combat. He married Elaine Ferne Freeman at St. Bernard's Church in North Kingstown, R.I. in August of 1946, at which time he attended and graduated from Bryant College Providence, R.I. They moved to Plattsburgh in 1971, where he managed Kings Dept. Store in Skyway Plaza until 1983. During that time he was a board member of the Chamber of Commerce, Visitors and Convention Bureau, Downtown Association, Salvation Army and American Red Cross. In 1984 Bill was employed by the City of Plattsburgh at the Office of Emergency Preparedness until 1990. He operated his own small business consulting firm. He was also a board member of Clinton County Nursing Home, Plattsburgh Housing Authority, Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, Bishops Pro-life Committee, Knights of Columbus and Secular Franciscans.

He was predeceased by his wife of 54 years, Ferne Donnell; a son, William Donnell Jr.; a son-in-law, Joseph Miller Sr.; a grandson, Mark Dragoon; two brothers, Bob and Jack Donnell; and a sister, Dorothy Donovan.

Bill is survived by his wife Barbara Harrigan Donnell; his daughter, Marie Miller of Plattsburgh; daughter-in-law, Terrie Donnell of N.H.; six grandchildren, William Donnell III, Joseph (Bridget) Drake, Stefanie Donnell, Courtney Donnell, Kristi and Kimberly Brodeur; two great-grandchildren, Sam and Abby; several nieces and nephews also survive him.

Calling hours will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 22, 2013, at the Brown Funeral Home in Plattsburgh. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 1 p.m. on Thursday, May 23, at St. John's Church in Plattsburgh, burial will follow at Mount Carmel Cemetery in Plattsburgh.

Donations in his memory may be made to Skilled Nursing at CVPH Medical Center.

Arrangements are entrusted to the Brown Funeral Home, 29 Broad St., Plattsburgh, New York 12901 (518) 561-3980. Online condolences and memorial candles may be offered at

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