Margaret D. Donnelly, 94, of Lancaster PA and Hilton Head Island SC, died of natural causes Thursday, December 3, 2015, at the Apostles Center for Care, Homestead Village, Lancaster. She was the wife of the late Frederick S. Donnelly Jr. for 68 years.
A beloved mother and “Granny” to three generations, Mrs. Donnelly was known for her kindness and gracious manner toward everyone she met. She and her husband raised their daughters in an atmosphere of tolerance and unwavering support and were a strong presence in the lives of their grandchildren. Even in her later years she maintained a lively interest in, and welcome for, her extended family.
She was born in Lancaster OH November 24, 1921, the daughter of John Wolfe and Elizabeth Purnell Dougherty, and spent her early years in Dayton OH. She was a graduate of Oakwood High School and attended Swarthmore College, where she was vice-president of the freshman class and a member of the field hockey, swimming, and archery teams.
She married Frederick Donnelly in 1942, and together they began a long adventure of relocation, first during his military service and then with his long career with the Armstrong Cork Company, now Armstrong World Industries. They settled in Lancaster in 1955. There she was active in supporting her daughters’ many school and extra-curricular activities and served as Board President of the Lancaster Day Nursery. She enjoyed domestic and international travel and delighted in a two-year residence in London, England.
In 1982 Mrs. Donnelly and her husband retired to Hilton Head Island, where she greatly enjoyed the Island’s natural beauty. There she was active on several committees and the Board of the TidePointe retirement community. She resided in Hilton Head until this year when she returned to Lancaster.
She is survived by her three daughters and sons-in-law: Kate and Robert Hickey Jr. of Liberty NC, Meg and Peter Brubaker of York PA and Hilton Head Island, and Susan and Lee Bishop of Louisville KY; her six grandchildren: Robert Hickey III (fiancée Holly) of Ellensburg WA, Marian Strait (Scott) of Orrstown PA, Patrick Brubaker (Jessica) of York PA, Joshua Brubaker (Jennifer) of Lancaster PA, Elizabeth Bishop (fiancée Kevin) of Louisville KY, and Maggie Bishop of San Francisco CA; her five great-grandchildren: Nicholas Strait; Adeline, Colin, William and Sean Brubaker; and her niece, Liza Donnelly Maslin of Rhinebeck NY.
A family memorial service will be held at a later date. Memorial donations may be made to Residents’ Association Employee Appreciation Fund, Homestead Village, PO Box 3227, Lancaster PA 17604; or the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry, ATTN: TidePointe Community Educational Fund, PO Box 23019, Hilton Head Island SC 29925.