Obituary of Mary Susan Donnelly
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A branch has fallen from our tree. Mary "Susan" Donnelly, formerly of Nichols, NY passed away unexpectedly at her home in Boston, MA on September 18, 2022. Susan grew up in Lounsberry and graduated from St. Patrick's School in 8th grade and was a member of the Owego Free Academy class of 1971. She attended Mount Saint Mary's College in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley. As a registered dietician, Susan worked in California, Connecticut and most recently in Massachusetts at the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum and Mt. Auburn Hospital as the Director of Food Services. She was meticulous about her work and she ensured that patients, staff and hospital visitors always received the best food services whether it was in-patient, cafeteria, coffee shop or catering.
Susan was predeceased by her parents, Robert and Marie Donnelly; her niece, Charlsie Rose; her paternal grandparents, William and Kathryn Donnelly; maternal grandparents, Walter and Catherine Slawta. She is survived by her nine siblings, Michael, of Albany, NY, Robert (Jeanne), of Sparta, NJ, Mathew, of Spencer, NY Christopher (Sheryl), of Sacramento, CA, Rose, of Lounsberry, NY, Joseph (Maria), of Spencerport, NY, Teresa (Steve),of Nichols, NY, Kathleen (Arnold), of Ontario, Canada, Karen, of New York City; nieces and nephews, Ian Grippo, Matthew, Shannon, Andrew, Christopher and Annalise Donnelly, Brianna and Ryan Donnelly, Peggy and Kelly Mantel; Nicole Donnelly and Kathryn Donnelly-Taylor; close friends, Tony Russo, Kathryn Lincoln, Marsha Campbell, Hassan Lamlaihi and Janet Schuster.
Susan loved to cook and she was an excellent cook. Everything had to be just right. She was impeccable. She shopped at Russo's and bought the best meats, seafood, fresh-made pasta and produce there as well as beautiful flowers for entertaining. The wine store close to her house also benefitted from her love of cooking and dining. She enjoyed jazz music, a glass of wine and good food. She would pack her little BMW and trek to NY to cook at the farm. We never could figure out how she fit everything in that little car plus herself.
Susan grew up on the farm in Lounsberry, New York. Being the oldest, she had to take on a lot of responsibilities, especially when her father passed away in 1969 leaving her mother with 9 children and another on the way. She helped her mother with canning, freezing, gardening and taking care of young children and babies. She found time to be a dedicated 4-H member participating in food demonstrations (always something no one else would ever think of or even heard of before), dress reviews (never bought material for an outfit in Owego because- What if heaven forbid someone else had the same material?) and running the 4-H food concession at the Tioga County Fair. She also was a leader in her CCD group at St. Patrick's Church. After she graduated from high school, she jumped at the opportunity to move to Los Angeles to stay with her aunt and uncle and attend college. Susan got off the farm. But…you can never take the farm out of the girl. She loved to dig through the gardens at the farm in the summertime to find fresh vegetables for the fantastic meal she was creating. Beets were her favorite. She enjoyed numerous vacations with Mom and her sisters in Barbados and on the West Coast of Florida. She loved all dogs and especially her big dogs- Benson, Sebastian and Teddy, all who she is reunited with now.
Susan was a beautiful person in spirit and always mindful of her looks. She dressed the way she cooked, impeccably. She had a keen eye for exquisite and beautiful clothing and jewelry. She loved shopping and finding a great buy, always looking for the right thing for the right person, which would result in trunks of clothing, outerwear and shoes for the sisters, nieces and occasionally, for her brothers. She loved having the "fashion shows" with the girls trying on all sorts of outfits and deciding which outfit looked the best on which person. Susan was a thoughtful and very generous person, always taking extra time to select the right gift and of course, wrapping it perfectly. She truly had her own trademark. We will all miss Susan, our Susie, forever.
Please join the family at Estey, Munroe and Fahey Funeral Home, 15 Park St., Owego, NY on May 15, 2023 from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. for a Celebration of Susan's life. Susan will be laid to rest with her parents in St. Patrick's Cemetery, Owego after the Celebration. The family invites everyone to join them at the Owego Moose Lodge (next to the cemetery) for a meal and a time of sharing from 2:30 to 6:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to a local animal shelter of your choice. Condolences may be made to Susan's family at www.emfaheyfuneralhome.com
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