Ernest “Ernie” Donnelly, 79, of Lincroft, passed away peacefully on April 26 at his home surrounded by family, including his wife of 56 years, Eileen Donnelly. Ernie, the son of the late Ernest and Margaret Donnelly, was born in South Amboy before settling in Lincroft for over 40 years with his wife and son.
A graduate of Kean College and Seton Hall University’s master’s program, Ernest was a highly respected and dedicated educator. His passion allowed him to serve various communities, initially as a teacher in Old Bridge public schools, followed by an appointment as principal of Marlboro Middle School where he accomplished the building of the school.
Ernie’s ambition did not stop there: He then went on to be superintendent of schools in Lavallette before finally retiring from Millstone township in the same role in 2000. Since then, he was an interim superintendent of many schools, as well as a member of the Middletown Township Board of Education where he formed many close bonds. Other memberships include school master club, retired superintendents club, NJEA, and IDEA, all geared toward ensuring students get the most comprehensive educational services. Ernest will be sorely missed by his family, friends and the entire line of educators he met along his career.
Despite the many accomplishments in education of Ernest “Ernie” Donnelly, he would proudly tell you that his biggest one was to have an only son, Keith Edward Donnelly, with whom he loved to watch Penn State football and scream, “We Are!” Other hobbies included watching CBA play basketball and enjoying a meal at Pete and Elda’s with his nephews, Rex, Ryan and Ross, but mostly spending time with his beloved granddaughters, Michaela and Keira.
Ernest is survived by his loving wife, Eileen; his loving son, Keith and his daughter-in-law, Concetta; his pride and joy granddaughters, Michaela Casey and Keira Ryan; his loving sister-in-law, Elizabeth Yeisley; and his three nephews, Rex, Ryan and Ross Yeisley.
Visitation was held at John E. Day Funeral Home, Red Bank April 29. A Mass of Christian Burial was held at St. Anthony’s of Padua Church in Red Bank April 30. Burial will be held at a later date.
The family requests in lieu of flowers memorial donations be made in Ernie’s name to Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer, 415 Crossway Park Drive, Woodbury, NY 11797.
Please visit Ernie’s memorial website at johnedayfuneralhome.com.
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