Charles Bernie Donnelly died peacefully surrounded by family July 9. He loved life and enjoyed it to the fullest as an honest, hardworking, wonderful example to his children, grandchildren and friends. Charlie was married to his childhood sweetheart, Eleanor, who predeceased him in 2006. They were married for 55 years and would have celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary this past 4th of July. He met the love of his life when they were 12 and 14 years old in New York City where they both grew up. Charlie was friends with her brothers and Eleanor used to hang on to the back of his bike on her roller skates for a ride!
Charlie went to St. Monica’s Elementary school where he served as an altar server. He was always chosen to do early Masses because he was an early riser and dependable at a young age. He enlisted in the Marines as a teenager and served on the U.S.S. Midway in the Korean War. He was injured in battle so was awarded the Purple Heart and the Silver Star. The Silver Star is the third highest personal decoration for valor in combat. He was awarded these honors by President Harry S. Truman at the White House.
After his recovery from his serious injuries, he returned home and married Eleanor Mary O’Neill. They moved “to the country,” Shrewsbury, New Jersey. Charlie and Eleanor raised their four children there and he lived there till his death. Charlie worked hard his whole life at Jersey Central Power & Light where he started as a lineman and worked his way up to a senior manager at his retirement. In his young days, in addition to JCP&L, he worked nights and weekends to keep his children in Catholic school which was important to Eleanor and him.
Charlie was extremely proud of his large family. He had four children, Rita Seaman and husband Michael; Bernie Donnelly and wife Cathy; Dennis Donnelly and wife Cathy; and Kenneth Donnelly and wife Cathy. He LOVED his eight grandchildren, Katie and Rob Hassell; Mikey and Molly Seaman and Bobby Seaman; Max Donnelly; Megan and Matt Fasullo; Chris Donnelly and Connor and Brennan Donnelly. He ADORED his great-grandchildren Finley, Emory, Ainsley and Waverly Hassell; Eleanor, Henry and Beatrice Seaman; and Baby Fasullo to come. His grandchildren loved him and they love the many things he taught each of them. Charlie loved spending time with all of them.
Charlie was an avid trout fisherman and spent much of his time fly fishing in the Catskills with his family, friends and cronies. He passed that talent and passion to his sons and grandsons. He considered himself a “gadgeteer.” He embraced technology as a senior citizen and was a wizard at computer technology. He communicated with his children and grandchildren through social media, including Facebook and Instagram. He enjoyed being a part of their lives and being able to keep up with everything they were doing. His home was wired for sound and his “command center” was next to his chair where he could see and run the entire house. He was also president of Donnelly Lectric and Limo for many years and served his friends and family well.
Visitation was July 11. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at Holy Cross Church. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in our father’s name to the VNA Hospice program or the Shrewsbury First Aid. We would like to thank the VNA Hospice for the angels they sent us to take care of our father and the Shrewsbury First Aid for the many, many times they came to his house to help us with him.
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