James Herbert Donnell (Pappy) passed away peacefully on Monday January 19, 2015 surrounded by his family at UPMC Hamot following a brief illness. He was born in Waterford on April 15, 1922 to Lysle and Martha (Myers) Donnell.
Pappy married Elizabeth ????ette???? (Williamson) Donnell at her parent?????s home in 1942. After being honorably discharged from the U.S. Army Air Corp, he returned to the Waterford area and farmed from 1945-1968 owning various farms in Erie and Crawford County. In 1968 he accepted a position with the new Erie County Vo-Tech School as Head of Maintenance until his retirement in 1988.
Pappy was a volunteer fireman with Stancliff Hose Co. for nearly 50 years. During this time he held several different offices, was Fire Chief for five of those years and brought several new babies into the world. He was also a life member of Perry Hi-Way Hose Co. and Union City Fire Department. In 1985 he was elected Mayor of Waterford, which he was extremely proud of. Through the years he served in various positions on the Waterford Cemetery Board and was a lifetime member of the American Legion Post 285 in Waterford.
Pappy is preceded in death by his wife Elizabeth ????ette???? (Williamson) Donnell, a brother Robert Donnell, a sister Dorothy Donnell, son-in-law John Flynn, grandson-in-law Kenneth J. Spinks and great-grandson Cody Glover.
He is survived by two sisters, Flora (Donnell) Woods and husband Ken, and Ebby (Donnell) Connell; two sons, James R. Donnell, and William L. Donnell and wife Kathy; two daughters, Martha (Kidd) Flynn, and Janette Morrison and husband David. He had eight grandchildren that meant the world to him: Bethany Donnell, Frank Kidd, Brenda (Kidd) Lacalmontie and husband Guillaume, Mindy (Donnell) Baney and husband Greg, Michele (Donnell) Hecker and husband Tom, James Patrick Donnell and wife Missy, Trish (Morrison) Spinks, Tara (Morrison) Steiner and husband Rich; also several great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
He enjoyed spending time with his family, watching football (especially the Steelers), mowing grass, plowing snow and riding his Kubota into Jake?????s to have breakfast with his friend Ron. Every morning he would lie in bed and wait for his friend Lu to call and give him his orders for the day. Nothing made him happier than surprise visits from his best friend Spike.
The family wishes to sincerely thank the staff from Independence Court and UPMC Hamot for their continued support during this difficult time and special thanks to our angel Laura.
Friends may call at Van Matre Funeral Home, 105 Walnut Street, Waterford, PA on Thursday and Friday from 2 to 4 and 6 to 9 p.m. Funeral services will be held there on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. with Pastor James Galvin of the Waterford First Baptist Church officiating. Interment will follow at Waterford Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Waterford Cemetery, PO Box 951, or Stancliff Hose Co., PO Box 275, both in Waterford, PA 16441.