Joseph Patrick “Pat” Donnelly, 78, passed away on Thursday, October 24, 2019, at his home. Pat was born and raised in Kansas City, beginning his life in a small house on 51st and Troost, in the heart of Saint Francis Xavier’s parish. Pat travelled the path from St. Francis to Rockhurst High School to Rockhurst College, cementing many life-long friendships along the way. He met for regular lunches with friends from St. Francis and Rockhurst, and last year organized the 60th reunion of his high school class.
Upon graduation from Rockhurst College in 1962, he was commissioned into the United States Marine Corps as a second lieutenant. Pat was extremely proud of his military service, and he spoke of it often in later years. The first song his children learned was the Marine Corps anthem, and there were regular “white-glove inspections” of his children’s bedrooms on Saturday mornings.
After leaving the Marines and a brief sojourn in Dallas, Pat returned to Kansas City for the remainder of his life. He continued the tradition of Catholic education by sending both daughters to St. Teresa’s and his son to Rockhurst High School. Throughout his career as a traveling salesman, Pat never met a stranger and used his time on the road to hone his storytelling skills. There was no such thing as a short conversation with Pat, but his sense of humor and charisma made him a pleasure to talk to. Some of his favorite topics included the military, fire trucks, and politics.
Pat spent his final years as a valuable member of the Woodbridge community. As the president of the homeowner’s association, he spearheaded many neighborhood improvement projects, culminating in a project that added 52 trees to the neighborhood’s streets. The family would like to personally thank the members of the Woodbridge community that took such great care of Pat during his most recent illness; your kindness is truly appreciated.
A funeral mass will take place at 10 am on Monday, November 18th at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church, with a reception to follow. Private interment at Leavenworth National Cemetery. Survivors include his brothers, Michael (Peggy) Donnelly, Paul (Polly) Donnelly, and his children, Christy (Christopher) Flores, Kathryn (Dave) Schmitt and Mark (Joan) Donnelly, as well as his grandchildren, Ben, Megan and Kiersten Schmitt, and Finn Donnelly. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Rockhurst High School or University.
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