Helen Donnelly

Helen Ryan Donnelly

Thursday, May 31st, 1917 - Sunday, November 24th, 2019
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Helen Ryan Donnelly
May 31, 1917 - November 24, 2019
Litchfield and Plantsville, CT | Age 102
Loving Mother, Grandmother, Great Grandmother, Aunt and Friend

On Sunday, November 24, 2019, Helen Ryan Donnelly of Litchfield, CT. passed away at the age of 102. She was born on May 31, 1917, daughter of the late Mary Callahan Ryan and James Joseph Ryan. Helen lived most of her life in the Plantsville section of Southington, CT and spent her summers on Bantam Lake beginning when she was six weeks old.

Mrs. Donnelly is survived by her four daughters, daughter-in-law and sons-in-law: Francine and John Cullinane of Greenwich, CT.; Lynn Donnelly of Farmington CT, Regina and Thomas Horrigan of Baltimore, MD.; Mary Muecke of Bronx, NY.; Joan and Denis O’Toole of Alexandria, VA and William F. Plunkett, Jr. of Tarrytown, NY.

She is also survived by 26 grandchildren, and 46 great grandchildren.

Helen was preceded in death by her husband, Harold F. “Pat” Donnelly of Southington, CT.; her son, James F. Donnelly of New Britain, CT.; son-in-law Mark E. Muecke of Atlanta, GA and her daughter Caryl D. Plunkett of Tarrytown, NY.

She graduated from St. Joseph College in West Hartford in 1938 with a Bachelor’s degree in social work and later served on the Board of Trustees. She worked in her family’s business the J.J. Ryan Tool Company in Southington, CT.

She also served on the National Council of Catholic Women.

She was a lifelong learner and avid reader of nonfiction with a special interest in politics and world affairs and authored Mostly Memories, Summers on Bantam Lake.

Helen epitomized a life of grace and gratitude for her many blessings of faith, family, friends and country.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, November 29, at 11:00 am, at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, 49 South Street in Litchfield, with Fr. Tucker presiding.

Burial will be in St. Thomas Cemetery on Saturday November 30, at 10:30 a.m. 209 209 Belleview Ave. in Southington, CT.

Arrangements are by:
Thurston Rowe Funeral Home
283 Torrington Road, Litchfield, CT

Memorial donations may be made to:

The White Memorial Conservation Center
PO Box 368, Litchfield, CT 06759

University of St. Joseph
1678 Asylum Avenue
West Hartford, CT 06117

Caryl Plunkett HOPE in Lung Cancer Fund
Martin Health Foundation
2135 SE Ocean Boulevard
Stuart, FL 34996
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Service Details

  • Mass of Christian Burial

    Friday, November 29th, 2019 | 11:00am
    Friday, November 29th, 2019 11:00am
    St. Anthony of Padua Church
    49 South Street
    Litchfield, CT 06759
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    The Rev. Robert F. Tucker
  • Interment

    Saturday, November 30th, 2019 | 10:30am
    Saturday, November 30th, 2019 10:30am
    St. Thomas Cemetery
    209 Bellevue Ave.
    Southington, Connecticut 06489
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Debbie Breslawsky

Posted at 07:28pm
Marc and I were sad to learn of Helen's passing. She was a special part of my life, and I am grateful to have known her. Helen and I had many fun times together not only in the "Ageless Wonders" exercise program (yes, she was the epitome of an ageless wonder) but at our many lunches together. She approached life with style, grace, and class, as well as a positive attitude . I always joked that I would like to be like Helen "when I grow up", and although I am not young in any sense of the word, I will always aspire to that. She will be missed by all. Knowing Helen, she would not want us to be sad, but to celebrate her life with the same gusto she lived her own life. May the memories of the good times together help sustain your family through this challenging time. My sincerest condolences, Debbie Breslawsky

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