McDONNELL, Sophia T.|
("Sophie") Age 94, died quite suddenly on Thursday, August 11, 2016, as a result of a fall that knocked her unconscious and from which she never recovered. Sophie, a lifelong resident of Canton, MA, had recently moved into an assisted living community in Brewster, MA, to be close to her brother, Robert McDonnell, and extended family in the area. Moments after the incident, Sophie was taken to Cape Cod Hospital where she passed away peacefully about eight hours later. Sophie was born on June 11, 1922 in Boston, MA and was the youngest of five children born to Frank and Sophie McDonnell. She attended Glover Elementary School in Milton, MA, and spent all four years of high school at Notre Dame de la Sagesse Convent School in St. Agatha, Aroostook County, Maine. When World War II broke out, two of Sophie's brothers joined the Army, and she enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. Sophie was stationed in San Francisco where she rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant in charge of provisioning troops in the Pacific theater. After the war, Sophie became a Registered Nurse and served her entire career at the Massachusetts Hospital School in Canton before retiring. The Massachusetts Hospital School educates students with severe physical disabilities, many of whom reside at the school. Sophie, although never married, had many children who loved her and depended on her. She was assigned to care for teenagers afflicted with cerebral palsy, an extremely difficult and challenging but rewarding job. In her retirement, Sophie loved to play golf; she was an avid reader and long-time member of a book club; and she enjoyed traveling abroad to Rome, France and Ireland with family members. Sophie was defined by her deep abiding faith and devotion to Jesus Christ and the tenets of the Roman Catholic Church. She was soft spoken but quick-witted; intellectually curious; fiercely independent; aware, but non-judgmental; kind, loving, and forgiving. To family and friends who knew her well, and many others whose lives she graced, she will be sorely missed. Sophie is predeceased by her sister, Leora, her older brothers, Tom and Frank, and a beloved niece, Mary Kathleen McDonnell. She is survived by her brother Bob (101 years young) his daughters Marie, Jeanne and Joanne; and by brother Frank's children, Michael, Patricia, Cindy, and Frank. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Tuesday, August 16, at 10 AM in St. Gerard Majella Church, 1860 Washington St., Canton. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend. Interment will be at St. Mary's Cemetery, Canton. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Sister Sheila Flynn, founder of the Kopanang Community Trust, Tsakane, South Africa c/o Marie McDonnell, P.O. Box 2067, Orleans, MA 02631, Tel. 508-292-5555. Checks should be made out to: Kopanang Community Trust.
Pushard Family Funeral Home
Published in The Boston Globe on Aug. 14, 2016