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AGE: 90 • Bound Brook
Joseph Donnelly, 90, died Friday, November 22, 2013 at his home in Bound Brook. Born in New Brunswick, he attended Sacred Heart Elementary School, graduated from St. Peters H.S., Trenton State Teachers College and Rutgers University, where he earned a Master Degree and did extensive graduate work. He was active with several Boy Scout troops and served as Scoutmaster in New Brunswick. He met his wife Jean Kenyon in high school and they were married in 1945. He began his 40 year career at Bound Brook High School in 1948 as an Industrial Arts teacher. He and his wife and four children moved to Bound Brook in 1959 and had lived there ever since. In 1958, he became the Director of the Bound Brook Adult School and for the next 8 years increased the enrollment from under 400 in just 25 courses to over 4,000 students in 100 courses, making it the 3rd largest adult school in New Jersey. In 1960, he assumed the added duties of Vice Principal and in 1968, for the next 20 years served as Principal. He retired in 1988. He was the founder of the Bound Brook Educational Foundation Charter Donor Campaign.
He was a veteran of WWII, serving with the 15th Air Force, 461st Bomb Group, 766 Bomb Squadron and completed 50 missions as an engineer/waist gunner on a B-24 Liberator bomber. He was the recipient of numerous medals including a Presidential Citation for a raid on the most heavily guarded fortress, the Ploesti oil fields in Romania. Mr. Donnelly was a member of the Bound Brook-Middlesex Rotary Club for over 50 years, served as president and was named a Paul Harris Fellow. He received the Lifetime Service Award from the Bridgewater-Bound Brook Rotary. In 1969 the Bound Brook Jaycees presented him with the Distinguished Service Award for outstanding contributions to the community of Bound Brook. He was a supporter of the Bound Brook Library, the Twin Boros Scholarship Foundation and chaired the Bound Brook-Middlesex Rotary Scholarship Committee.
Mr. Donnelly was predeceased by his brothers, George and John and his sister, Helen Donnelly. He is survived by his wife, Jean, to whom he was married for 68 years, his children, Dr. Ellen (Michael) Hodnett, Toronto, Canada; Dr. Diane (Bert Faerstein) Donnelly, Kentfield, California; David (Carol) Donnelly of Dorset, Vermont and Jon (Lillian) Donnelly of Flemington, his grandchildren, Stephanie and Michael Hodnett, Ian, Dylan and Jonathan Faerstein, Laura and Lisa Donnelly and Sara and Steven Donnelly, three great grandchildren, Owen, Alexandra and Jeremy Hodnett, and his sister in law, Evelyn (Al) Walker, Allenhurst, NJ.
Funeral services will be 9:15 A.M., Tuesday, November 26 at Hagan - Chamberlain Funeral Home, 225 Mountain Ave., Bound Brook, followed by a 10:00 A.M. Funeral Mass at St. Joseph Church, Bound Brook. Relatives and friends are invited to visit with the family from 2-4 and 7-9 PM Monday at the funeral home. Interment will be at Bound Brook Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to the Bound Brook Memorial Library.
Hagan-Chamberlain Funeral Home
225 Mountain Ave. Bound Brook, NJ 08805
Published in Home News Tribune & Courier News on Nov. 24, 2013