Mrs. Patricia Donnelly passed away peacefully in New Britain on May 8, 2017. She was born in New Britain in 1935 to the late Jack Turner and Hazel (Sullivan) Turner, growing up in the White Oaks neighborhood. The neighborhood was where she met a handsome young Irishman by the name of John Donnelly. They were happily married for 43 years, residing in Southington until John’s passing in 2001.
She attended New Britain High School graduating in 1953 where she was a member of Kappa Delta, establishing lifelong friendships. She received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Central Connecticut State University with a 4.0 grade average in addition to earning master’s degrees in education from UConn and the University of Hartford. She was recognized for her academic achievement by Gov. Ella Grasso at the state capitol.
Pat was extremely proud to be an educator in the town of Plainville. She was tough, but fair with her “kids,” pushing each to achieve their highest potential. Pat influenced the lives of countless children, first as a teacher, and then as an administrator. She retired in 2000 as vice principal at Plainville High School, after almost 35 years in a profession she loved and excelled at.
Pat had a flair for style, but her other true passion was travel. The Donnelly’s were world travelers, spending much of their time in Ireland and the Orient. They were among the first to enter China after President Richard Nixon’s detente and drew crowds and warm welcomes being the first Americans some had seen since World War II. After John’s passing, she continued her travels, visiting Russia and numerous other European countries through tours by her friend Dennis Morrell.
Pat is survived by many loving family and friends, including her brother, John D. Turner and his wife, Karen, of Cheshire; and her brothers-in-law, Michael Donnelly of New Britain and Dale Nightingale of Plainville.
She is also survived by her nieces and nephews, Mary Bathrick and her husband, Michael, of Meriden; Ryan Nightingale and his wife, Lisa, of Rocky Hill, who were both wonderful in Pat’s time of need; Jeffrey Taylor of Utah; Deborah Elliott-Black and her husband, David, of California; James Elliott and his wife, Stacy, of Avon; Michael Donnelly and his wife, Lois, and John Donnelly and his wife, Maria, all of Rocky Hill.
Pat also enjoyed her many great-nieces and nephews, especially Hazel, Declan, Mauve, Jackson, and Ella. She also leaves behind the Kappa Delta girls and friends and family in Fintonia, County Tyrone, in Northern Ireland.
In addition to her parents and her husband John, she was predeceased by her sisters, Pamela Nightingale, Priscilla Elliot and her husband, Francis, her nephew, John L. Turner, and her longtime companion, Homer Drapeau.
The family would also like to express their sincere thanks to the staff at Arbor Rose, especially Director Will Menoche, and the staff at Jerome Home during this difficult time.
Funeral services in celebration of Pat’s life will be held at Our Lady of Mercy Church, 94 Broad St., Plainville, this Friday, May 12, at 10 a.m. Friends and family are asked to meet directly at church. Pat will be laid to rest in Ireland later this year. There are no calling hours. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in support of the Southington Animal Rescue, P.O. Box 10, Southington, CT 06489. For more information or to leave online expressions of sympathy, please visit www.BAILEY-FUNERALHOME.com .