Stephen Donnelly ’75
Stephen Joseph Donnelly, age 69, of Falls Church, Virginia passed away on Thursday, January 12, 2023. He was born on April 21, 1953, in Holland, Michigan to Bernard and Virginia Donnelly.
Stephen grew up in the small town of Holland, Michigan, in a large family with many nearby relatives. He was the youngest of seven children. As Stephen grew older, he quickly developed a passion for the sciences which eventually led him to study chemistry and mathematics at Hope College and the University of Michigan. After graduation, he made his way to the East Coast for a career working as a contractor for the US Navy. It was there he met Constance Rackowski and they married in 1983. Together they built a life and family with five children living in Falls Church, Virginia.
Stephen was a kind, caring, and soft-spoken man. While he was a man of few words, his words were always thoughtful and he was quick with a clever line. He was a life-long learner who could be found reading the newspaper or a book on a daily basis. He had extraordinary and broad knowledge, with a deep passion for history, science, and classical music. He also enjoyed completing an expert level crossword puzzle and competing with contestants while watching Jeopardy.
Stephen was involved in Saint James Church as a parishioner, volunteer, and father who sent his five children to the Catholic school. He was also a firm supporter of pro-life initiatives and could be found each year praying rosaries in the 40 Days for Life movement.
Beyond all of his hobbies and interests, Stephen’s proudest accomplishment was raising a family and watching it grow with gratitude for its many blessings. He was a loving son, brother, uncle, husband, father, and grandfather. He is survived by his beloved wife of 39 years, Constance R. Donnelly; his children Helen D. Guerrero (Fernando and children, Julian and Luiz), Stephen (Priya), Patrick, Gregory, Mary D. Overfelt (Florian and baby, Theodore).
Stephen is also survived by the families of his siblings: Monica, Patrick (Jacqueline), Michael (Elaine), Judith (Mehmet Tulu), and Moira. His sister, Angela, preceded him in death.