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Georgana L. Donnelly

November 10, 1935 March 6, 2014
Georgana L. Donnelly
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Obituary for Georgana L. Donnelly

NASHVILLE, TN Our dear Mom, Georgana Louise Donnelly, 78, of Nashville, passed away at 6:40 a.m. on Thursday, March 6, 2014 at St. Thomas West Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee. Mom was born in Peoria, Illinois on November 10, 1935 to Louise and George Wallace. She was later adopted by her stepfather Kenny Wahl, whom her mother married in 1940. She married our Dad, Richard S. Donnelly, on November 12, 1955, two days after her 20th birthday. Mom and Dad were married in Peoria at St. Bernard Catholic Church where they both went to grade school and were lifelong parishioners. They were married for over 52 years. Mom previously maintained homes on East Nebraska in Peoria, Illinois and in Beechgrove, Tennessee. She and Dad also bought a cottage in the early 70s on Lake Shafer near Monticello, Indiana. The Cottage, for over 30 years, was a great source of peace, fun and togetherness for our family, our cousins, the grandchildren and many other friends. After Dad died in 2008, Mom sold her home of 50 plus years and moved to Tennessee to be close to her children. Nonetheless, Mom always considered Peoria to be her home and was proud of that fact, keeping up with the news and her friends via email, the online Peoria Journal Star, Facebook and regular phone calls. Known affectionately and interchangeably as Georgana, George, Aunt JoJo, Grandma, Jojo, Memaw, or plain ole Mrs. Donnelly; Mom is survived by four daughters, two sons, twenty-two grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. Moms children: Deanna McCarthy, mother of Kelly Bailey (mother of great-granddaughter Addie), Jonathan Anthony, Kevin and Joey McCarthy; Kathleen Dumas, mother of Lacey and Nick Dumas; Jeanne (Mark) Robinson, mother of Brooks, Hayley, Gracie, Quinn, Reed and Rosie Robinson; Harold (Sunny) Donnelly, father of Maemie, Eamonn, Susanna and Catherine Donnelly; Colleen (Luis) Rodriguez, mother of Joey, Gabby and Liam Rodriguez; Steve (Tricia) Donnelly, father of Ethan, Anna and Finn Donnelly. We all live in Nashville with the exception of Colleen, who is just down the road in Atlanta, Georgia. Mom is also survived by her sister, Judie (Dennis) Perry of Florida, Judies daughter Jill (Chris) Buechner, mother of Mercer and Whitman Buechner; and our beloved first cousins and many other members of the extended Donnelly, Crowley, McQuellon and Kelly families. Mom was preceded in death by Dad, our brother Daniel Robert Donnelly and many treasured friends, in particular Eloise Kenny and Bernie Pisano, our neighbors growing up on the East Bluff. Mom began working as a dental assistant while attending high school at Academy of our Lady. She graduated from the Academy in 1953. In the late 70s, with her two youngest in tow (twins Steve and Colleen), Mom went back to school at ICC, graduated with an Associates Degree and became a dental hygienist. She later worked as the Executive Secretary for the Peoria District Dental Society for many years and became an integral part of that community with innumerable friends and colleagues. Mom received honors from both the Peoria District Dental Society and the Illinois State Dental Society for her dedication and service to the profession. She treasured all aspects of her job and took immense pride in organizing the monthly meetings and the annual golf outing. She loved her dentists and their staffs. Mom was also active in the St. Bernards Mothers Club, her church, and the homeowners associations of the Cottage and in Beechgrove. She loved going to Club, a gathering of the women of the extended Donnelly family. Fiercely independent, our Mom was a strong-willed woman who was never shy about giving anyone her opinion. She was the leader of her family, in her work and in her communities. She was also the possessor of an unfailingly kind and generous heart, always looking out for those less fortunate than she. She could strike up a conversation with anyone, anywhere, anytime. Mom, as long as she was able, enjoyed attending thousands of family related events: birth and wedding showers, first communions, graduations, every type of sporting event you can imagine, dance and piano recitals, bowling tournaments, weddings, funerals, band contests and all manner of Donnelly Family gatherings. Prior to moving to Tennessee, she and Dad would routinely take long road trips to Houston, Atlanta, Nashville, Orlando and Indianapolis, on many occasions each year, to see their grandchildren and great-grandchild and to celebrate holidays. She loved to order a tenderloin sandwich with two buns at the Shamrock, cut it in half, and take the rest home for the next day. She washed out plastic zip-lock bags and reused them. She saved, cleaned and reused aluminum foil. She collected aluminum cans for the mentally handicapped guy down the street, gave away anything she did not need, worked hard and was frugal. She turned off the lights and turned down the thermostat. She believed in keeping a neat house. If you ever needed to know where something was, ask Mom. Upon visiting her childrens homes, Mom did not hesitate in rearranging the dishes in the cabinets, pitching in to get the laundry done, giving advice on cooking and instructing on how to better raise the grandchildren. We loved her. Mom died from COPD and congestive heart failure. She maintained her independence as long as she possibly could and faced the inevitable outcome with unspeakable courage. When it was no longer possible to be on her own, Moms primary worry was about being a burden. She was no complainer. She did not dwell on it and was not afraid. She did enjoy our company. Her advice in her last weeks? We should all say I love you more, and I just want you to live your lives. We shall. She will be missed. A funeral mass will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 11, 2014 at St. Bernard Church with Monsignor Stanley Deptula officiating. Visitation will be from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Monday at Wright and Salmon Mortuary, with recitation of the Rosary at 8 p.m., and one hour before the mass. Burial will be at St. Marys Cemetery in West Peoria. Mom loved yellow flowers; in particular daisies and sunflowers, and we would like nothing better than to see St. Bernard filled with the same. However, if you are so inclined, you may make a memorial contribution in Moms name to the Pro-Life organization of your choice. Tributes and condolences may be submitted to


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