Lillian J. Donnally
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Chesapeake - Lillian Jeanette Ford Donnally, 61, of Chesapeake, Va., departed this earth on March 2, 2013 to be with the Lord after an incredibly courageous 13-year battle with breast cancer.
Lillian is survived by her loving husband, Vincent Donnally; their three daughters, Kristin Donnally Hodges and husband Michael, Megan Donnally and Lauren Donnally; her sister, Linda Ford and husband John Hall; a nephew, Wesley Hall; a special caretaker, whom she loved as a son, Jess Wayne Hall II.
She was born in Portsmouth, Va., to the late Rex Herman and Clemmie Ensley Ford. Lillian was a proud honors graduate of Cradock High School and Radford University. She earned a Master's Degree in Education and a Certificate of Advanced Study from Old Dominion University. Lillian began her career as an English and Journalism teacher at Great Bridge High School. She was then promoted to assistant principal at Deep Creek High School. She assisted in plans for Chesapeake's Center for Science and Technology before moving to Virginia Beach Public Schools to serve as an educational planner.
Lillian considered one of her finest accomplishments in public education to be Open Campus High School in Virginia Beach, a program which she designed, implemented, and proudly served as first principal. In this role, Lillian helped students facing a variety of obstacles to earning a diploma, many of whom were forced to face adult responsibilities much too early in life. A number of these students were single teen parents who balanced attending high school, holding down a job, and caring for their children; some others were young adults who had lost parents through death, divorce, or incarceration. Lillian knew that, for such at-risk students, survival was their first priority, and she sought to provide an opportunity for them not only to survive, but also to thrive with the benefit of a high school diploma. She also served as principal for the Virginia Beach Adult Learning Center, retiring in 2005 after 30 faithful years of service to education. She was a member of Chesapeake Public School Administrators (CAPSA), Virginia Beach Education Association, and a past president of Virginia Beach Secondary School Administrators.
Lillian was a member of Great Bridge United Methodist Church. Her greatest love in life was her family. She was also passionate for her students, fellow teachers and educators. Lillian was an inspiration to many and never let cancer take away her positive attitude and determination. Her incredible presence will be missed, but never forgotten.
The funeral service will be conducted at 11 a.m., Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at Great Bridge United Methodist Church. Rev. Danny J. Kesner will officiate. The interment will follow at Chesapeake Memorial Gardens. The family will be receiving friends at the Eagle Pointe Bay Club in Chesapeake, VA, following the interment.
The viewing will begin on Monday with the family receiving friends from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Great Bridge Chapel of Oman Funeral Home & Crematory, 653 Cedar Road, Chesapeake.
The family would like to gratefully acknowledge the outstanding care given by Virginia Oncology Associates, Dr. Thomas Alberico, Linda Sawyer, Nurse Debbie, medical assistant Megan, and Sentara Home Hospice.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Lillian J. Donnally Memorial Scholarship Fund held at any Towne Bank. Scholarship funds will be evenly divided between Deep Creek High School in Chesapeake and Renaissance Academy in Virginia Beach.
Friends are invited to sign the online guest book at www.omanfh.com
Published in The Virginian Pilot on Mar. 3, 2013